Basic Rules Empire Building

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Now that the Stats, Newsfax, Mapset, Order Form and all the actions are explained, it is time to plan and scheme the development of your nation. Here are some rules that may be useful in your Empire Building.

The Center Of Governments

For purposes of play, the King is the focus of most governmental activity, no matter where he is. The Capital is where all new National Leaders appear, including Princes. The Capital is also the location of the Imperial Treasury for most of the turn. The Capital is also the focus of the Homeland Build Zone, which defines the regions in which new national units may be built.

Ruling Wide Domains

The location of the Capital or Homeland (if your Infrastructure or Bureaucratic Level is two (2) or greater) or from your King (otherwise) governs what territory can be effectively controlled. High BL and whether or not a King is Ruling help determine the efficacy of the Command Control Radius (CCR) on outlying regions. The CCR is roughly equal to your Bureaucratic Level, plus the King’s Administration stat (which is usually unknown to you) if the King is Ruling during the course of the turn. If the Nation has regions and/or cities that are outside the Command Control Radius at the end of the turn, then they may revolt.

Religious Primacies, Religious Orders, Secret Empires (and Merchant Houses in the Modern Era) trace their command radius slightly differently than Open Nations. (Generally speaking, an Open Nation expanded from the Homeland into adjacent regions, and then from controlled regions into their neighbors.) These are more porous - having scattered locations of control and interest. For Primacies, Religious Orders and Secret Empires and Merchant Houses the Control Web is used to trace the Line of Communication over land and overseas. The important factors are:

  • Action Range = One-half of Tech Level, rounded up APs
  • Maximum Number of Links = (BL + Admin)

If the position has regions, cities or sites that are outside the Command Control Radius or the effective Control Web at the end of the turn, then they may revolt.

Tracing the Command Control Radius

This happy activity is undertaken by the GM at the end of each turn for each country, just to see if your realm has grown too fat to be supported by the efforts of your King and his dutiful bureaucrats. To determine this, the GM traces Lines of Communication from your Capital (if you have one) or from your King (if you do not have a Capital) to your outlying regions, as if a Leader were moving with an Action Point capacity equal to your CCR. It is not necessary to pay an extra 1 AP to enter any city in the region – tracing control to the region is sufficient.

This rewards postal roads, rivers used for communication, railroads, etc. It makes wilderness, desert, mountains and etc. a terrible pain. Uncontrolled regions are deadly.

Note that Postal Roads are a special case, in that they halve movement AP costs for CCR tracing only. The Silk Road counts as a Postal Road for the purposes of tracing CCR.

When tracing the CCR by sea, if the location can be reached only by a series of one-way current arrows, then the total CCR distance to the location is:

Total APs to reach the location and return/ 2

If the location can be reached only by a series of one-way current arrows, and it is not possible to trace a route back (possibly due to its geographic situation or Exploration has not found a way home) then the location is outside the CCR.

If it is impossible to move from the Capital to the outlying region with (CCR) Action Points, then the region is ‘out of control’ and may revolt.

You must be able to pay the full cost to enter the region when tracing the (CCR) Action Points (the base cost + the control modifier + the border terrain modifier and + regional terrain modifier for it to count, modified by the presence of roads). You do not have to pay an extra 1 AP to enter a City in the region.

The region that contains the Capital is not counted against the CCR if the Capital is located in your Homeland - you trace the Homeland Build Zone and Command Control Radius from the Homeland (this is a bonus).

However, if you have a Capital which is not in your Homeland, then you trace the Homeland Build Zone and Command Control Radius from the Capital itself, which means you pay 1 AP to enter the surrounding non-Homeland region. If the Capital is moved from the Homeland, the Homeland does not move!

Example: The Russian Tsar has his capital at Novgorod. In the most recent turn his armies have conquered the province of Georgia in the far south. The current Russian Bureaucratic Level is 3 and the Tsar’s Administration is 2. This gives a CCR of (2+3 = 5ap).

Russia is currently a Civilized nation. Counting movement from Novgorod, we find that the shortest route south is through Livonia (2 Actions) to the Dvina River, south along the Dvina and Dnepr to the Mare Negri (3 Actions), then through the Black Sea to Abasigia (2 Actions). Finally into Georgia (1 Action) for a total of 8 Actions. Hmn... Not too good. The Russian combined CCR is (3 + 2 = 5ap) so the Russian armies in Georgia are out of range and liable to revolt.

Example: The Hideyoshi Shogunate capital is at Igashi in Dakota. They also control the province of Mohawk on the eastern seaboard of North America. From Dakota, the messenger boards a courier boat on the Missouri (1ap), which takes him to the Middle Great Snake (1ap), then up the Ohio (1ap) to Wenro (1ap). A highway runs from Wenro, through Cayuga (0.5ap) and Iroquois (0.5ap) to Mohawk (0.5 AP) for a total of 5.5 (rounded up to 6) ap.

Using the highway network from Igashi to Mohawk would be eleven regions, one bridged river (the Missouri), one unbridged river (the Middle Snake), and 14 raw ap, halved for the Road, = 7ap.

For Primacies, Religious Orders and Secret Empires and Merchant Houses the Control Web is used to trace the Line of Communication over land and overseas. The Control Web has to be traced back to the Capital (Holy City, Order Fortress or whatever). Locations that are isolated from the Capital will degrade or revolt. For instance, even though a Religious Order Estate is within range of another Estate, if one or the other cannot trace control back to the Order Fortress, both will degrade. The Control Web of a Primacy, Religious Order, or Secret Empire has a hierarchy from low control to high.

The effective Control Web is not infinite. The extent of the effective Control Web is constrained by their Command Control Radius. Primacies, Religious Orders, Secret Empires and Merchant Houses get a bonus, however, in that each "link" in the Control Web counts as 1 point against their CCR.

Tracing a Line of Communication

Lines of Communication are traced from the Capital of the nation (or the Homeland, if there is no capital) via a contiguous series of controlled regions and/or unblockaded Sea Zones or Ferry Points to the designated region or city. Religious Primacies, Religious Orders, Secret Empires (and Merchant Houses in the Modern Era) trace their Line of Communication from their Holy City, Order Fortress, Cultic Stronghold (or Home Office).

For open nations the region or city must be controlled at Tributary or better to trace the Line of Communication over land. Note that a LOC is not blocked by the presence of an enemy army in a region, if that enemy has not conquered and garrisoned the province, thus obviating its control for the tracing power.

For Primacies, Religious Orders and Secret Empires (and Merchant Houses in the Modern Era) the Control Web is used to trace the Line of Communication over land and overseas.

The Capital And Its Effects

Your Nation can have a Capital to serve as the center of its governmental structure if your Infrastructure or Bureaucratic Level is two (2) or greater. Otherwise, the ‘capital’ is considered to be a coterie of advisors, scribes and flunkies that follow your King around and bother him constantly.

The primary function of a Capital is to be the economic focus of the cities in the nation. The designated capital city of the nation counts fully toward the International Trade Value. Additionally, any other city that is connected by Royal Roads to the Capital also counts fully toward the ITV of the nation, regardless of previous modifiers.

The Capital of a nation is in the national homeland. If a city is built in the homeland and the Nation qualifies for one, the new city will inherit the distinction of being the Capital. When a national Leader dies and is replaced, the new Leader will show up at the capital of a nation. The Capital is also the point from which the Homeland Build Zone is traced.

Moving The Capital

While your Infrastructure and BL are 0 or 1, your King acts as your “capital” and may move freely. Once, however, either your BL or Infra is 2 or more, your Capital becomes fixed and you must pay to move it.

Note that this does not give you a new homeland. Only the capital moves. Once your capital has moved, however, it does change the center of your Homeland Build Zone. You will probably wind up with a Capital in a Friendly province (or maybe not, depending...)

Moving the capital costs GP equal to the base Government Support (not modified by Turn Length) times the number of regions (or sea zones) the Capital is moved.

Moving the Capital also moves all of the attendant government ratings (Intel Ops, Religious Ops, and so on). You must move the entire Capital at once. If you cannot afford to move all of the government ratings, then the un-moved remainder is lost.

It takes an entire turn to move a Capital, during which time the BL will not be effective for controlling regions (thus those outside the King’s Administration range may revolt). A Leader is required to move the Capital (which will cost them all the actions for the turn).

If the Capital must be moved across a sea zone, ships must carry it. The Cargo value of a Capital is equal to:

(BL × 5) + (Infrastructure × 10)
Example: The Pandyan kings of Chola decide to move their capital from Pandya in Chola to Karadam in Malabar. Their BL is a 5 and their Infrastructure is 7. If they had to move their capital by sea it would take ( (5 × 5) + (7 × 10) = 95) Cargo Points of ships to move it.

When a Secret Empire moves its Stronghold, it must be moved just as an Open Nation moves its Capital. However, the Cargo cost will be one-quarter of that required for an Open Nation in the equation above.

The Destruction of the Capital

In the extremely unfortunate circumstance that enemies destroy your Capital (either in a city or in the Homeland), you will suffer some grievous consequences. If the Capital is in a city, then the Sacking and Burning of the city suffice for its destruction. If the Capital is in a Homeland, then the Looting of the region will effect the necessary devastation. Once a Capital has been destroyed, these effects follow:

  1. One-half (rounding up) of your Government will be destroyed with the capital. This means that you will loose one-half of your Bureaucratic Level and Infrastructure.
  2. One-half (rounding up) of your Intel and Religious capabilities will be destroyed.
  3. All of your Feudal Ally, Full Ally, Tributary, Non-Paying Tributary and Economic Ally regions will check for revolt.
  4. You will lose the Leaders (Princes or Lieutenants) that were being provided or supported by the now destroyed Bureaucratic Levels.

On the same turn that the Capital is destroyed, a new Capital is declared in the most appropriate Friendly region (if one is available) or the next highest control status province your nation owns. This presumes, of course, that you still qualify to have a Capital at all. All remaining BL and Infra points are moved to this new location. You may include a conditional order with your turn(s) indicating the location of the ‘backup’ Capital or the GM will choose the new location for you.

Revolt of the Capital

If a nation’s capital revolts during a Civil War and is not held by any of the other factions then the nation temporarily loses half their BL and Infra. While the city is in revolt, the nation is at reduced capacity. If the player recaptures the city, he gets the missing BL/Infra back. If he fails to recapture the capital in more than a turn or two then the loss of BL and Infra becomes permanent. If he moves his capital during the revolt, he also loses the ‘missing’ government.

The Imperial Treasury

Any saved GP that a player has is considered to be in their Imperial Treasury, which, unless the player indicates otherwise, is considered to be in their Capital City or Homeland. If this location falls to an enemy, and the Treasury has not been moved elsewhere, the GP are captured as well.

At the beginning of each turn the player may shift the location of their Treasury, placing it in any city or region in their empire. The Treasury is then considered to be at that location for the remainder of the turn, unless a Leader has been assigned to move it in case of danger.

A city designated to be the permanent site of the Imperial Treasury that is other than the capital is noted with the City Type Code ‘$’.

The Census (Optional Rule )

A Census costs 5 GP per friendly region, ½ GP per friendly city GPv and 1 NFP per 20 GP (rounded up) spent to conduct. A National Leader (King, Heir, Prince or Lieutenant) must also perform the CC (Conduct Census) action.

The effects of the Census are to give your nation a detailed demographic survey of your nation and increase of your normal tax rate by 10% (or for every 10, you get an extra 1). In most (but not all) cases, your National Force Point production will also increase. The Census is active until you suffer a dynastic failure, a civil war, or if your nation’s capital is captured by someone else or is destroyed.

A Census may remain in effect even if a Famine, Raids or Infrastructure shortfall causes the total tax rate to be depressed. Your clerks just get to know how much money they’re not taking in, in taxes…

Example: The Ming Chinese have decided to conduct a census, having just finished crushing the last of their Soong enemies like bugs. All, well, most of China is now under their sway. Within this domain they control nineteen friendly provinces. Their census (conducted by General Botuai, a Lieutenant) will cost them ( (19 regions × 5) + ( 30 GPv of friendly cities × ½ ) = 110)) GP and (110 / 20 = 6) NFP to conduct.

Once the Census is complete, their normal Tax Status will become ‘C’ for Census in Effect and their base Tax Rate will become (100% × 1.1 = 110%). Their NFP production will, probably, also go up.

Creating Satrapies

A Pacified city or province may be granted Pacified Tributary status at the beginning of any turn, at the whim of the player. The regional or city garrison may then be withdrawn without fear of a regional or city revolt.

If, however, the garrison is not withdrawn within the course of the same turn, the region or city will revert back to Pacified status at the end of the turn.

Further, the player must inform the GM that he is granting a region or city PT status, or the withdrawal of the garrison will cause the region or city to revolt.

Reducing Control Status

At the beginning of any turn, you may declare to reduce the control level of any non-Conquered (Pacified or Pacified Tributary) region or city that you control. Any number of control levels may be reduced (see also the granting of fiefs). Remember, of course, that if you reduce an Allied region or City, the Allied Leader and any troops he may command will disappear. It is also not wise to relinquish control of your Homeland…

Pacified regions or cities can only be degraded to Pacified Tributary or Uncontrolled status. You cannot degrade control of a Pacified region or city without actually removing the garrison. A Pacified region or city may be declared a Pacified Tributary (or Uncontrolled) at the beginning of the turn, and will assume that status when a Leader comes by and picks up the garrison and moves it away.

Pacified Tributary regions can only be degraded to Uncontrolled status. Yes, they hate you…

The Imperial Size Rating and Its Effects

Amongst the various ratings that describe a Nation is Imperial Size. This rating describes how much trouble a Nation is to administer. The very basic formula is:


Where S is the resulting Imperial Size, R is the number of controlled Regions (including controlled islands and oases), C is the number of Cities, and ISD is a GM supplied Imperial Size Divisor number.

There are also a large number of modifiers based on National Society, Government, Culture, and the Control status of the regions and cities. All of these modifiers are modified on a regular basis by the GM, so we're not going to present them here.

The Size Divisor number is the key value for maximizing your possible National size. It is generally a three with a minimum of one. However it can be raised up to four or five if the proper circumstances are achieved.

The full formula for calculating Imperial Size can be found in Calculating Imperial Size.

Default Imperial Size Divisor

By default nations in Central Asia, China, Japan and India have a Size Divisor of four (4), while everyone else has a Size Devisor of three (3).

Primacies, Religious Orders, Secret Empires (and Merchant Houses in the Modern Era) in Central Asia, China, Japan and India have a default Size Divisor of three (3), while everyone else has a default Size Divisor of two (2). This lets them control a fair number of sites, but very few provinces without a major investment in Infrastructure.

Changing the Imperial Size Divisor

Nations in Central Asia, China, Japan and India can achieve a Size Divisor of five (5) if the conditions below are achieved. Nations in the rest of the world can achieve a Size Divisor of four (4) if they meet the same conditions.

Primacies, Religious Orders, Secret Empires (and Merchant Houses in the Modern Era) in Central Asia, China, Japan and India can achieve a Size Divisor of four (4) if the conditions below are achieved. In the rest of the world they can achieve a Size Divisor of three (3) if they meet the same conditions.

  • The average Public Works Bonus of all controlled regions in the Nation is at least 10.
  • Each controlled region meets one or more of the following conditions:
    • Has a Port City in it
    • Has a Royal Road in it
    • Has a Navigable River border or contains a Navigable River (in the few cases where a River is within the province, rather than being a border)
    • Is an Island (terrain type)
    • Has a non-mountain border to an adjacent controlled Cultivated or Intensively Cultivated region with a Royal Road
    • Has a non-mountain border to an adjacent controlled Cultivated or Intensively Cultivated region bordering or containing a Navigable River.
  • The nation does not have any Feudal Allied or Pacified Tributary regions under its control.

If any of these conditions change (for example, an Allied Leader dies and his region becomes Feudal Allied), then the player has one turn to rectify the situation before the national divisor reverts.

Banking And Loans

There exist, in most Civilized States, moneylenders or banks that can loan the players a certain amount of money. Players who borrow money will have to pay it back or they will face retaliation from the bankers and/or their mercenary armies.

Players in Civilized States in the Western Europe, Eastern Europe, North Africa, Middle East, and Persia Geozones may borrow up to (3 x Tech Level) percent of their Net (after tax) revenue from the Jewish bankers. Players in Civilized States not subject to Usury restrictions may borrow up to (5 x Tech Level) percent of their Net (after tax) revenue from internal banks. Both kinds of bankers charge 30% interest on the original amount of the loan, with two full turns to pay.

Example: The Burgundians decide to invade Switzerland on the current turn, which is Turn 60, so they check their credit limit. They make 150.0 GP after taxes on the current turn and their Tech Level is 7. The maximum that they can borrow is (5 x 7 = 35)% of 150.0 GP, which is 52.5 GP. They will owe their internal bank 68.2 GP in two full turns, or at the beginning of Turn 63.

No more than one loan from a given source may be outstanding at any given time, although a State may have one loan outstanding from each of the internal and Jewish banking systems. If a State defaults on a loan, it suffers a reduction in its Tax Rate (see The Tax Rate) and the bankers may send an army or two to collect. In addition, the State will be unable to draw any further loans from any bank, internal or external (exception: Players as Bankers).

Usury Restrictions

Usury restrictions apply to Roman Catholic States at the discretion of the Pope, and to all Muslim States at all times.

A State under usury restrictions may borrow from Jews or any external source, but has no internal banks. In addition, it may not loan money to other States for interest. To do so may precipitate a religious crisis.

A State under usury restrictions may attempt to exempt itself by legalizing usury. This is a dangerous process politically and religiously, and may also precipitate a religious crisis. A successful Reform Religion action is required. A low Religious Strength and high Tech Level make the process easier. A State which successfully legalizes usury is no longer under usury restrictions.

Players as Bankers

Any State exempt from usury restrictions may lend money to another State, charging whatever interest it chooses. States under usury restrictions may lend money as well, but may not charge interest. This is simply treated as Inter-Nation Transferring Gold.

Bribery And Corruption

The chance of success for many activities can usually be improved by the use of GP to provide inducements to local rulers and officials, oiling the machinations of the state. Sometimes, however, bribery has no effect or can have a negative influence.

Diplomacy and Charisma based Leader actions can be enhanced by the spending of GP to provide bribes and gifts. Diplomacy and Secret Diplomacy are obvious candidates for corruption, but Secret Movement can also be improved by paying for any witnesses to look the other way. Gold is often carried by Leaders to spend on bribes to aid their Actions.

Similarly, Intel and Religious actions may be affected by the spending of GP. Mercenaries can be bribed and counter-bribed. The activities of Primacies, Religious Orders, Secret Empires (and Merchant Houses in the Modern Era) can also find the liberal expenditure of GP beneficial.

Inter-Nation Transfers

Transferring Gold

At the beginning of a turn, a nation can transfer Gold Points (GP) from Saved, from a Bank Loan or from the current turn’s revenue to another nation via either:

  • An open trade route.
  • Via a moving Leader.

The GP are transferred into the recipient nations’ Saved GP, and are available to be spent by that nation the following turn. A transfer, therefore, takes at least one turn.

To deliver GP to a nation you are not trading with requires a Leader to travel from your Capital (or treasury city) to their Capital (or treasury city).

Transferring Agro

At the beginning of the turn, Agro which is held in the Reserve of a Nation can be transferred, either via an open trade route, or via a Leader, to another Nation. The agro to transfer may have just been put into Reserve that same turn.

Transferred Agro goes into the Reserve of the receiving Nation and will be used in the harvest/famine calculation at the end of the turn. Transferred agro does not offset an existing famine.

An unlimited amount of agro may be moved via an open trade route, or up to 10 agro may be moved by a Leader. If the agro must move by ship, then 1 agro = 2 cargo points.

Transferring NFP

At the beginning of the turn, NFP can be transferred between two nations in two forms:

  • As ‘national’ NFP (and is reduced in the transfer)
  • As slave NFP

Slave NFP can only be transferred to a Nation with a Slave Economic type (though the slaves could have been acquired by a non-Slave nation through Raiding or capturing troops in war, etc.). Slave NFP are transferred without reduction.

National NFP can only be transferred to another nation of the same Religion and Language. Even so, these transferred NFP are halved in the process. On the other hand, once transferred, they are treated exactly as if they were native NFP of the receiving Nation.

All NFP must be moved by a Leader from sending Capital to receiving Capital. Slaves must be escorted, as per the Slave Raid rules.

Transferring Units

Inter-Nation Unit Transference

There are two kinds of Inter-Nation unit transference; first, where the units become national units of the nation that they are transferred to, and second, where the units remain the property of the transferring (or loaning) nation.

Units must be transferred from a Leader to a Leader, and this can occur at any time during the turn.

Units transferred are immediately halved in number.

If the two Nations are of different Religions, the number of units is halved again.

If the two Nations are of different Languages, the number is halved again.

Example The German Empire sends the Pope 100 infantry units. German is Catholic, as is the Pope, but the Papacy speaks Latin, while Germany speaks German. The initial 100 units would be halved once, for the base transfer, to 50. Then halved again, for the difference in Languages, to 25. The Pope then receives 25 infantry.

Transferred units, however, are treated in all ways henceforth as national units of the nation to which they are given.

‘Loaned’ units are not converted and can be ‘loaned’ between nations of different religions. Loaned units must be commanded by a Leader from their ‘home’ Nation at all times. The nation that the units are transferred to pays the Troop Support for these units. The ‘loaning’ nation may, however, recall them at any time. Such units are much more liable to revolt, or Cause Mutiny espionage efforts.

Transferring Units to Allies

Units can be transferred to the command of a Feudal or Full Ally. Units must be transferred from a Leader to a Leader, and this can occur at any time during the turn.

If the Ally is of a different Religion to the Nation, the number of units is halved.

If the Ally speaks a different Language to the Nation, the number is halved again.

Transferred units are treated henceforth as units of the Ally to which they are given, save that if units given to a Feudal Ally are lost in battle they are not regenerated as part of the Feudal Ally’s army. Units can be specifically built for Full Allies, without suffering any reduction.

When a Feudal Ally rises in status, all feudal troops are lost as they are the property of the feudal lord.


If any of your regions or Leaders fall outside your King’s Command Control Radius, they may revolt and form their own nation. Also if any controlled region or group of controlled regions cannot trace a Line of Communication from the region(s) in question via controlled contiguous land regions and/or no more than three non-Hostile, non-Blockaded Sea Zones to the Capital then they will have to make an extra revolt check at the end of the turn.

When a Leader outside the CCR revolts they will operate autonomously with whatever resources are to hand. A national leader might go Mercenary, found a dominion, or go native and disappear. If they create their own dominion then the parent nation loses 1 BL and 1 Infra to the rebel.

Dynastic Failures

Whenever your King dies there is a chance (usually small) of your nation suffering a Dynastic Failure (DF). This dire event is marked by the momentary collapse of central authority as various contenders for the throne strive to overthrow each other. If your type of government allows heirs, if your King dies without proclaiming (or having) an heir, then the chances of your suffering a Dynastic Failure are higher. So, too, if your King has a number of sons and none of them are markedly stronger than the others (particularly in Charisma) then Civil War may ensue.

If a Leader or an Allied Leader (including Heirs and Princes but not Bishops) commands a very large portion of the national armed forces and has a low Loyalty, under dire circumstances they may also attempt a coup to seize land and all or part of the government from the rightful King. This situation gives rise to a Dynastic Failure where the King and the General are the two active combatants.

When a Dynastic Failure occurs:

  • The GM checks all of your Leaders for Revolt and if a Leader does revolt and his situation warrants it, he may attempt to form an independent state wherever he is. Regions controlled by the Nation suffering the Dynastic Failure will accrete to this new nation if his Charisma is strong, or if there is not another loyal Leader to counter-act the effects of this rebellion in that area.
  • After successor states have been checked for and formed, the GM checks for the revolt of all other provinces within the Nation. During this step it is very likely that Pacified Tributary, Pacified, Non-Paying Tributary, Feudal Ally and Economic Allies will revolt. It is still possible, though much less likely, that Full Allies and Friendly regions will revolt. See Revolt of the Capital for the effect of the Capital revolting.
  • After all of this is done, the GM will determine which of the successor states (or the source Nation) is the strongest and will give that Nation to the original player. As a result you may find yourself changing dynasties or even nations as events progress.

Note: If the trouble that you are experiencing is due to an over-mighty general attempting to throw off of the authority of a weak king - you do not get the general’s position. You remain with your position.

Successor State Regional Allegiance

On one or more turns immediately following the initiation of a Dynastic Failure or Civil War, the successor states to the original nation may seize ungarrisoned Friendly regions and/or cities held by another successor state and have them immediately become friendly to them by the successful execution of an Attack to Liberate action. This must be performed by a national army (not mercenaries or foreign adventurers) comprising at least as many troop points as the Garrison value (that is, the modified Resistance Value) of the region or city. The army may then leave the region or city, and control will remain until an opposing force sweeps in and performs its own Attack to Liberate.

If, in turn, a national army of another successor state counter-moves through the location later in the turn then control goes to them instead if they successfully execute an Attack to Liberate.

However, the presence of a hostile, un-besieged City or Fortress is in the region will block the taking control of the province, and will prevent the region from changing factions unless it is captured or placed under an effective Passive Siege.

If another successor state has left a garrison in a region or city then the two forces contest control of the location in battle.

This special case of successor state regional and city allegiance is only in effect while the Game Master declares the two nations involved in the Dynastic Failure or Civil War to be in Civil War Status. This only applies to regions which were friendly to the original nation and are now friendly to a successor state to that nation.

Note that moving into a region and then entering a city therein costs another 1 AP (modified by roads as necessary).

Example: The Holy Roman Empire, originally controlling Germany, Austria and Italy, collapses into a civil war between the sons of the old Emperor. Austria, Germany and Italy each become separate successor states (with players). During the turn immediately after this disaster, the Austrians send an army down into Italy, sweeping unopposed to Attack to Liberate the Provinces of Verona, Romagna and Latium where they end the turn besieging Rome. Near the end of the turn, an Italian army marches into and successfully Attacks to Liberate Verona before running out of Actions.

At the end of the turn, Romagna and Latium (both being friendly to the original Holy Roman Empire and to the Italian successor state) become friendly to the Austrians (who are currently occupying them). Verona, also initially friendly to the HRE and then to Italy, occupied by Austria and then reoccupied by Italy, is friendly to Italy despite its momentary occupation by Austria (since the Italians are there last).

Native Armies

The indigenous armies of the neutral regions (or tributary, etc.) have two forms: Regional and Active. The Regional forces are those that can be called up when the region itself is attacked. These points are calculated like so:

AV = (2 × RV) + GPv + (PWB/10)

Where AV is the resulting Army Value, GPv is the GP value of the region or city, RV is the Regional Resistance Value, and PWB is the Public Works value.

The AV is roughly the size of the defending regional army.

The active regional army is equal in points to one-half the AV. This is the army provided by a Feudal or Full Ally, or turned over by a province becoming Friendly.

The breakdown of those raw troop points into Infantry, Cavalry and so on is determined by the GM, based on the Culture, Geographic Zone and Tech Level of the province.

Example: Verona is a (4+20/6) region. The defending army generated by this province would be composed of (2 × 6 + 4 + (20/10) = 18) points of troops. The active army of this province and city would be composed of (18 / 2 = 9) points of troops.

The native armies of steppe regions, however, are based on the native Population Level of the region, which may vary. The composition of steppe forces is, usually, of light troops with a sprinkling of medium and heavy units.

Nomadic Societies And Migration

The vast stretch of Asia that forms the Steppe is occupied by a great number of Nomadic tribes, the undying enemies of cultivation and the agrarian society. No player may begin as a Steppe empire and the Steppe is notoriously hard to conquer. Indeed, from time to time, population pressure in the nomadic heartland of Central Asia will cause a Horde to erupt out of the Steppe and descend upon the hapless cultivated regions. Once active, a Horde can be given to a player. If your empire borders the Steppe it would be prudent to have a large army handy and to fortify your steppe land border.

Horde Diplomacy and Warfare

When a Horde enters a Steppe province that contains another Horde, the moving Horde may either attempt Diplomacy (via the standard DP action), or may attack the other Horde (via the standard AT action).

The results of Horde Diplomacy will only be one of four results:

  • At War (whereupon the Hordes fight)
  • Neutral (whereupon the moving horde may either leave the region to return to the region that they entered it from, or they may attack the region)
  • Feudal Ally (the non-moving Horde becomes a Feudal Ally of the moving horde)
  • Allied (the non-moving Horde becomes a Full Ally of the moving horde and now moves with it)

If a moving Horde attacks a non-Moving Horde with an AT action, they fight until one side has lost more troops than the other. If the moving Horde lost more troops, they abandon the battle and return to the region that they entered the region of battle from.

If the non-moving Horde lost more points, however, they become a Feudal Ally of the moving Horde.

Horde Settlement

When in a non-Settled state, a Horde need not pay troop support on the steppe. This allows the horde time to grow vast via Horde Diplomacy or Conquest.

The first turn after a Horde has used one or more Tribal Points to convert a pacified province or city to Friendly, or satisfied the conditions for a change in Culture Type, it is considered to have settled down. Once this occurs, the Nomadic nation is required to pay troop support.

Nomadic Tribal Points are used to attempt to convert a pacified province using the Colonize Inhabited Region order.

Tribal Points

Tribal Points (tbl) are basically settlers and refugees who are looking for a new home.

Tribal Points have a base Action capacity as per Table 7-5 and in defense act as five field forts (5f). Tribal Points have a Cargo value of 10.

Tribal Points can be found accompanying active hordes. They also appear when a nation decides to migrate (see below), and as refugees from the destruction of warfare. They can also be built at the cost of 20 GP and 20 NFP by a Nomadic or Barbarian nation.

If you wish to build a new city, you can substitute one Tribal Point for the NFP cost of the initial GPv. If you wish to expand an existing city, you can use one Tribal Point for the NFP cost of adding 1 GPv to an existing city. In both cases, however, you must pay the regular GP cost; settling Tribal Points in regions is free. If you wish to convert Tribal Points into public works in a region or city, one Tribal Point equals four PWB.

You cannot demobilize Tribal Points, however, they must ultimately be used for settling purposes only.

Settling in Populated Areas

A Tribe Point can settle in a province or city at the direction of the player using the Colonize Inhabited Region order.

When this is done, a Tribe Point must be settled for each GPv of the province, or each 3 GPv of an existing City. The effect of this is that the region and anything in it will turn Friendly (or Homeland if you so declare), but then you will become a Caste society. An army must accompany tribal settlers when they attempt this or the locals will rise up and exterminate the foreigners.

Settling in Non-Populated Areas

You can settle Tribal Points in non-populated regions to that region’s full potential Gold Point Value at the rate of 1 Tribal Point per GPv using the Colonize Region order.

There is no need to colonize a region to 0 Gold Points when colonizing with Tribal Points; in fact, you can colonize desert and tundra regions to 1 GPv with just 1 Tribal Point.

However, if a Tundra or Desert region has a base map 0 GPv value, you cannot settle it to more than 0 GPv. One Tribal Point would settle such an area (if depopulated) to 0 GP rather than one (1).

Example: The Merkit horde has 5 Tribal Points. A 3 GPv region and a 2 GPv region could be settled (ignoring the cities). Or a single, existing, 15 GPv city could be settled. Either region then can be declared the homeland and both regions (and whatever else is there) will become friendly territory and will henceforth produce NFP for the Nomadic nation.


Nations may wish to migrate at times to better locations when the going gets tough. Civilized nations can Migrate if their Imperial Size is 2 or less and if the GM so allows. Nomadic, Seafaring, pre-Columbian and Barbarian nations can migrate at will.

All friendly regions inside the Homeland Build Zone (HBZ) and the homeland plus any allied regions (who pass a loyalty check) can migrate with your rulers. All applicable regional GPv will turn into tribal points (at 1 GPv = 1 Tribe Point) and will gather at your capital (allied Tribal Points will gather at their region). All applicable cities will convert to Tribe Points at a rate of 2 City GPv = 1 Tribal Point rounding up for each city and to the same amount of gold as if the city was sacked.

The vacated regions will drop to 0 GPv, with one exception: If there is a lower caste of inhabitants who owned the region before you settled or colonized it, they will take over again when you leave.

All applicable PWB will be converted to 2 GP per PWB and will be shipped to the gathering point. And as long as you can pay their support costs, the government, Intel and your army can leave with you.

Under extreme circumstances a Nation can attempt to migrate via unknown Sea Zones, Inter-Island Arrows, Open Ocean Arrows or River Sections they have not previously Explored. Such an undertaking risks severe attrition or total destruction.

Pre-Columbian Societies

The most distinguishing feature of the Americas, Australia and, surprisingly, South Africa, is their total lack of suitable riding animals. The Americas had them in the past, but they died out eons ago. Horses never reached Australia, even over the Indonesian land-bridge. South Africa was isolated due to the The tsetse fly and, although not physically isolated from the rest of the horse toting world, the effects of this deficiency are the same.

The Cav Count

Cavalry must be imported into these areas before the Cav Count in each area can begin. Each of the following is considered to be an area for the purposes of a Cav Count:

  • North America
  • Central America (all Meso-American religion regions)
  • South America
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • South Africa and Madagascar.

Once cavalry have been introduced into an area, one hundred years must pass for the horse population to reach sufficient levels to permit cavalry units to be built in that area. The GM will notify players either on their status reports or in the Newsfax when the Cav Count is complete, and cavalry units can be constructed.

Until an area successfully completes a Cav Count, the following restrictions apply to it:

  • No cavalry units may be constructed.
  • Leaders moving on land, unaccompanied by Cavalry units, are restricted to five Actions per year modified by the standard movement modifiers (see the Army Impulse and Capacity Tables).
  • Leaders moving on land that are accompanied by Cavalry units move at the AP of their slowest unit per year modified by the standard movement modifiers (see the Army Impulse and Capacity Tables).
  • Steppe regions may not be converted to cultivated regions by any means (though Wilderness regions can still be converted), as per Regional Cultivation.

Note that in the horse-free zone of Central Africa inside the Tse-tse Fly line, these restrictions are a permanent way of life.

Government Type Limitations

In addition to the limits imposed by a lack of suitable riding animals, these areas also suffered from a low level of population and various deficiencies in metallurgy and technology. As a result, they suffer from various limits as to the kinds of governments and societies that nations within these zones can attain.

Nations in the West North American, East South American, Australian and Pacifica geographic zones are limited to a Tribal government type.

Nations in the East North American, West South American, Madagascar, and South African geographic zones are limited to a Centralized Monarchy government type.

Once contact has been made with the rest of the world and the Cav Counts for these areas have been completed, they are bound by the restrictions on all nations, rather than these limiting factors.

Technological Progress

The most fundamental aspect of Lords of the Earth is the advancement of Technology. Technology Levels chart this advancement. Technology Levels are, in turn, bracketed into Industrial Stages.

Technology Levels

Technology Levels define how advanced your nation is in terms of technological advancement. Many nations will accumulate Technology Points that will eventually advance the nation to a higher Technology Level. Tech Level 1 portrays a Neolithic Tech Level. Levels 2 and 3 are your standard Ironworking Barbarian and Nomad cultures. Level 4 is the first Civilized Level and was first attained by Pharoanic Egypt (as the standard Lords game starts at 1000AD this is titled Medieval). At Level 8, gunpowder and artillery are invented and the Renaissance is achieved.

Technological advancement is the mechanism by which Barbarian and Nomad cultures turn Civilized. Tech Levels also regulate the Maximum QR for each of your combat units. You cannot invest in a QR that has attained its Tech Level Maximum. The list of Technology Maximums for each QR can be found in Table 5-2 under Investments.

Industrial Stages

So long as all Nations are at Technology Levels 1 through 7, the Campaign shall be at Industrial Stage Zero, The Middle Ages. The moment one nation or more achieves Technology Level 8, then the game switches into the Renaissance and at Level 12 into Industrial One. Other Industrial Stages shall be defined as a game progresses into higher levels of Technology.

The Transfer Of Technology

The transfer of a higher technology to low tech areas cannot be done instantly. But trading with as many higher tech nations as possible can augment the speed of technological progress. The diffusion of knowledge in this manner could be called ‘advancement through osmosis’.

"Natural" Cultivation

While a Nation can undertake the forced Cultivation of Wilderness, Steppe and Jungle provinces through the application of Megalithic Construction projects (see Regional Cultivation), there are also 'natural' processes that work to transform these kinds of regions to the Cultivated terrain type.

Each Wilderness, Jungle or Steppe province that contains a City will begin converting to Cultivated at a slow rate. This rate is based on the size of the City and the initial terrain type.


Where P is the Percentage Cultivated in the current turn. S is the GPv of the City, Tm is the Terrain Conversion Multiple from the following table, and TL is the current Turn Length (in years).

Table 10-1. Terrain Conversion Multiples

Terrain Cultivation Multiple
W (wilderness) 0.5
S (steppe) 1.0
J (jungle) 0.75

Example: The Byzantines built a new 1 GPv city, Polikratos, in the province of Pechneg, which is Steppe. Each turn in the game is five years long. The turn of construction, 2% (1/3 × 5 × 1 = 1.6) is converted to Cultivated. The second turn, the Byzantines expand the city to 2 GPv. That turn, the Cultivation percentage increases by (2/3 × 5 × 1 = 3.3)%, for a total of 5%. And so on…

The turn that the Cultivation Percentage equals or exceeds 100%, the region Terrain Type become Cultivated. Until that occurs, however, the region is considered to be of the original Terrain Type.

Assimilating Conquered Regions

Once a Nation has acquired one or more Pacified or Pacified Tributary regions, the wise ruler will come to realize that such conquests are a drain on men and gold due to the constant garrisons that they require. He may trouble the sleep of his advisors by desiring to know when and how these troublesome subjects may come to love him and pay their proper due in men and coin.

The following measures may be undertaken:

The Natural Assimilation of Conquered Peoples

The ruler may wait, hoping that time will heal the rude memory of strife and that, in the passage of years, a Pacified region may become a Friendly region. Likewise, a Pacified Tributary region may become a Tributary region. Three caveats, o noble ruler:

  1. There is no guarantee that this will occur!
  2. This will only occur in the case of regions that are of the same religion as that of your ruling house.
  3. If the region is of a different language than that of your ruling house, your chances of the region becoming assimilated are greatly lowered.

As time passes, the Years From Conquest (YfC) attribute of the conquered region will improve, slowly increasing your chances of this natural conversion. A wise ruler may sent out well-spoken men and women (i.e. a Lieutenant) to do Diplomacy in the province, seeking to increase this value. Note that Years from Conquest sticks around until both the city and region are no longer Pacified or Pacified Tributary.

The Granting of Fiefs

A Lieutenant may be granted a province as his personal demesne:

  • If granted a Friendly province they become an Allied Leader and the province becomes an Allied province.
    The local garrison, and any troops commanded by the Lieutenant at the time of granting the fief become their Allied army.
  • If granted a Pacificed (only) province of the National religion they become a Feudal Ally and the province becomes a Feudal Allied province.
    The local garrison, and any troops commanded by the Lieutenant at the time of granting the fief become the Feudal Ally army. If the Pacified province is granted as a fief to a Lieutenant or Prince of the occupying nation, then they still must maintain a garrison of non-provincial troops in the region or it will indeed revolt against the new feudal lord.

A Prince may be granted a Friendly province or city as their personal demesne:

  • The province or city becomes a Non-Paying Tributary region (or city).
  • The Prince is demoted and probably removed from the line of succession. They do not become an Allied Leader.

Other, Less Savory Means

The harsh ruler may also Regional Genocide the province, exterminating its populace to replace, by Colonization, with his own loyal subjects. The population may also be Enslaved, to the same end.

Controlling Provinces Containing Hostile Fortifications

Should a Nation conquer a province that contains an enemy city or fortress, and fails to capture or isolate that city or fortress by placing it under Passive Siege, some special conditions come into play:

Whilst the city or fortress remains uncaptured and not under siege the region remains Uncontrolled by both parties but it can be garrisoned by the conqueror. If the city or fortress is under an effective siege the region is Pacified and can be garrisoned.

Each turn that a region contains a hostile fortress or city belonging to the nation to whom the status of the region is Occupied a revolt check is made. The possibility of revolt is enhanced by the presence of a strong garrison and/or Leader in the city.

If the region successfully revolts it is liberated, returning to its previous status to the former owner.

If the fortress or city falls to the conqueror, goes independent, or is acquired by a third owner the revolt checks are not longer required.

While the city is isolated and under passive siege the normal rules for maintaining the siege are used.

If the city is isolated but not under siege (that is, no Leader is issuing a successful Siege order) the city will undergo out of Command Control Range revolt checks, and if it revolts will become an independent free city.

Lines of Supply

Nomadic and Barbarian forces do not require a line of supply. Armies of other cultures suffer a decrease in combat efficiency the further they operate from a controlled city (or the homeland).

This can be prevented if:

  • There is a supporting fleet (in a sea zone adjacent to the operating army) with a Cargo value equal to the Cargo value of the troops in the army. This fleet must be tasked to provide supply to the army (i.e. it cannot be undertaking some other action, like Piracy, or Blockading.)
  • The army is being supplied by a city controlled by another nation that has stipulated that it is supporting the foreign troops. The nation providing the logistical support may specify which city or cities are providing the supplies.

If an army is completely isolated (besieged, unable to trace a Line of Communication) then it is also at a disadvantage in combat.

Guiding Foreign Armies

You may move through another nation's regions as if you controlled them (thus avoiding paying the +1 AP cost for entering an uncontrolled region) if they submit orders giving you permission to cross their lands. Permission must be provided each turn you desire to move through their territory.

The granting player may, at his whim, indicate the specific regions that you will be guided through. If your army moves outside of those regions, even if still escorted, you must pay the extra 1 AP for crossing an uncontrolled border.

Religious Primates always have permission to move through a nation as if they controlled the provinces, if their influence in the nation is 4 or greater.

Example:: The Hidden Empire of Khemer (SE Asia) wishes to reinforce the Kingdom of Burma. The Khemer Emperor, Lao Sung the Mad, leads his troops to Thaton, being the furthest of his controlled regions. After such movement, he only has 3 AP remaining. Normally this would not be enough even to Move to Ava (2 normal boundaries away) at all. However, on this instance the Khemer player has coordinated with the Burma player, who controls both Pegu and Ava. Spending only one AP each to Move into Pegu and then Ava, Lao Sung would even have his last AP available to perform a Defend action once he and his army arrive at Ava.

Sharing A Province

Tributary and Non-Paying Tributary regions and cities can be controlled by more than one nation. Any number of nations may have a Non-Paying Tributary relationship with the same province. Two nations may have a Tributary relationship with a single province.

This sharing includes using a Port City and coastal region for trade, for moving armies and for tracing the Command Control Range through the province or city.

The nations must agree amongst themselves to share control of the province, informing the GM and perhaps (if the GM so requires) signing a formal treaty. If this is not done, then any Diplomacy attempts in the province will be “hostile” to one another. If an agreement is reached, each Nation may perform Diplomacy in the region until an NT or T status is achieved.

If one of the sharing nations attempts to raise their control above NT (if 3 or more nations are sharing the province) or above T (if 2 nations are sharing the province), then this is considered “hostile” diplomacy and the other nation’s control status will be reduced by the amount which the Diplomacy would have raised the initiating nations’ status.

Ceding Regions

Controlled Regions or Cities may be ceded to another country. Indicate what land is to be ceded, and the country to which it is to be ceded, on the order form.

When a Region is ceded, it may change status, as follows:

  • Friendly becomes Pacified
  • Allied becomes Economic Allied
  • Economic Allied becomes Tributary
  • Tributary remains Tributary
  • Feudal Allied becomes Non-Paying Tributary
  • Non-Paying Tributary remains Non-Paying Tributary
  • Claimed remains Claimed
  • Pacified remains Pacified
  • Pacified Tributary remains Pacified Tributary

Revolt checks may be required for the new owner to maintain control, particularly if he is of a different religion. Pacified regions, obviously, will need a new garrison. Note also that if the new status violates the maximum control status of the new owner (due to religion or terrain), further downgrading or revolt may occur.

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Lords of the Earth 6th Edition
© 2016 Thomas Harlan
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