The Order Form

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The Order Form is how the player communicates to the GM what they wish their nation to do each turn. It will indicate where the nation has earned its money, how it is spending it, what it is building, and where its troops and Leaders are to be. Sometimes, the order form does not have sufficient room to clearly indicate to the GM just what the player wishes to do. If this is the case, simply use another sheet of paper and staple it to your order form. Also remember to write your Nation’s name and the turn number on any attached sheets.

If you are sending messages to other players, please paper-clip them to your orders and put them on 8½ × 11 sheets of paper to make dealing with them easier for your GM. Remember, an unhappy GM is a cruel and merciless GM.

The form itself is divided into six sections: Player data, Trade and Mercantile Activities, Espionage Activities and Notes, Construction of Units, Expenditures and the Movement section.

An example of a filled-out order form can be found at the end of the Charts & Tables section. Blank order forms (in a variety of formats) can be downloaded.

Player Data

At the top of the order form are spaces provided for player information. The name of the nation, and the name of the player, the campaign number and turn, the player’s phone number and address all must be filled in or the orders will not be processed. There are a series of boxes that you can check in if you wish your name, phone number or email address to be printed in the ISI listing section of the Newsfax.

Please note that the section titled RESULTS SENT TO: is where you (the player) put your address! If we do not know your address, we cannot get your results to you. This is bad. If your address changes, remember to put the new address in this space! If you move after turning in your orders and before getting your results it is your responsibility to inform the GM of the change.

Trade and Mercantile Activities

Just under the Player data are two groups of lines labeled “Trade Route Initiation”, and “Changing Shipping Allocations”. These indicate to the GM which nations you wish to initiate and cease International trade with.

To initiate trade, both your nation and the nation you wish to establish trade with must “Initiate” trade with each other. If you are willing to trade with any other Nation, you can say “Trade With Anyone”, and any other nation that then tries to trade with you will be able to.

If a valid Trade Route can be opened between the two nations then trade will begin in the following turn. Trade is initiated at the beginning of the turn, therefore all conditions must be set at that time, for the route to be opened. This trade continues until such time as:

  • The Trade Route can no longer be sustained.
  • Either of the players declares a cessation of trade.
  • Either player undertakes an act of war against the other.
  • One of the nations no longer exists.

You do not need any special notice to maintain trade. Trade Routes can be traced by land regions, by Sea Zones, or a combination of the two.

Trading With Nations Overland

A valid Land Trade Route is a line of contiguous controlled land regions and/or ferry arrows that can be traced from the capital of one of the two trading nations to the capital of the other trading nation. All the land regions forming the Trade Route must be controlled (at Non-Paying Tributary or better status) by one or the other of the two trade partners (with the exception of the Land along the Silk Route and Land across the Sahara routes if the conditions stipulated are satisfied).

This Trade Route can be comprised of any number of land regions or ferry arrows. A given land region can have any number of Trade Routes traced through it.

Note that this means that a nation that straddles a sea zone does not gain the ability to trade by land with nations adjacent to the disjunction. The trade route cannot include any Sea Zones if it is to be handled as an Overland Route.

Example: England has conquered the western portion of France and is trading with the Spanish, Burgundians and Germans. Their French possessions have common land borders with all three of those realms. However, to trace a trade route from the English capital (London) to any of the other three capitals requires tracing a Trade Route across the English Channel. Since this is a sea zone, the entire route is considered a Sea Trade route and merchant shipping must be supplied to handle the crossing of the Channel.

New Land Trade Routes

When you are opening a new Land Trade route, you must provide the GM with all of the following information about the new route. All the conditions below must be satisfied at the beginning of the turn or the new route will not be opened.

  1. The name of the nation you want to trade with. (The To Nation field).
  2. The Type of Route: Land by Open Terrain, Land Trade by Difficult Terrain, Land Trade by Dangerous Terrain, Land by Road, Land Across The Sahara or Land Along The Silk Route. These all have criteria that must be satisfied.
  3. If requested, you must be able to define the path the trade route follows through regions and ferry points.

Sea Trade

A Trade Route can include Sea Zones if the following conditions are met:

  • Each end of the sea-borne portion of the Trade Route must have a port city, controlled by one of the trading nations at Tributary status or better, adjacent to a sea zone comprising the Trade Route.
  • One or both of the Trading Nations must supply at least one Merchant Shipping Point (MSP) to carry the trade through the intervening sea zones. This merchant fleet is considered based at the port city controlled by the supplying nation.
  • The number of contiguous sea zones that a Trade Route is traced through from port to port cannot exceed the Trade Range of nation providing the merchant shipping. Trade Range depends on the Culture of the nation, as shown by the following table:

Table 5-1. Sea Trade Range by Culture

Nation Culture Type Trade Range
Nomadic 1
Barbarian / Pre-Columbian 2
Civilized 3
Seafaring 4

Two concepts are important in understanding sea trade:

  • The Port of Origin. This is the port through which you are tracing the Trade Route. It must then be able to trace a series of contiguous, controlled, land regions to the Capital. The minimum control level for the regions through which the Line of Communication is traced is Tributary.
  • The Base Port. This is the port city providing harborage for the MSP allocated to the Trade Route. It need not be the Port of Origin through which the Trade Route is traced. This allows you to spread your MSP throughout your Empire, even if only one Port City is handling all of the Trade Routes for route tracing purposes.

It is perfectly possible for a Sea Trade Route to be traced overland to a Port of Origin controlled by your nation, through some number of sea zones to another Port controlled by your nation, and thence overland to the Capital of your trade partner. In this case, only the Nation controlling both Ports can assign MSP to the Route.

Example: England is trading with Switzerland. The English trace their Trade Route from London by sea (the English Channel) to Calais in Flanders (which the English control) and then by land through Vermandois and Hainaut to Champagne, which the Swiss control. Then it goes by land through Burgundy to Switzerland. Since the English control both Ports used by this trade route, only they can assign MSP to the Route as a whole.

When tracing sea trade, you do not count the ending/starting region for sea trade. (The trade does not have to pay to “enter” port).

Example: Maldives is trading with Chola. That is 1 SZ for the inter-island arrow, then 1 SZ for Gulf of Mannar. 2 SZ total trade distance.
Example: Holland to Iceland. 1 SZ for North Sea, 1 SZ for Viking Bank, 1 SZ for the Shetlands/Faeroes inter-island arrow, 1 SZ for the Faeroes/Iceland inter-island arrow. 4 SZ total distance.

Creating Merchant Shipping

Merchant Shipping Points are the equivalent of cargo space on transports (or decommissioned warships) being assigned to Trade Routes or Merchant Fleets. MSP is created by building transport vessels and assigning them to given Trade Routes. Each ship unit is then converted into MSP equal to its cargo rating. During this assignment, you do not have to keep the MSP in “whole ship” units. That is, you may build one transport vessel, then assign one MSP derived from it to as many routes as it has cargo points.

Also, at the beginning of the turn any of your Transport or Warship units in armies or garrisons may be converted to MSP at the usual rate. A converted MSP can be assigned to any Trade Route maintained by that Nation.

Note: Warships with cargo capacity can be converted to MSP, but if this is done the units cease to be warships. If they are reconverted, they become Transports instead.

Example: The English have won another war against the French and decide to beef up their merchant fleets again, by converting a number of extra transports to MSP. They convert four cogs and six light transports to MSP. This gives them ( 4 × 3 = 12 MSP, for the cogs) and ( 6 × 1 = 6 MSP, for the light transports) for a total of 18 MSP.

Merchant Fleet Assignments

Following the Trade Policy lines on the order form are spaces allocated to the assignment of merchant fleet. Spaces are provided for the base port of each fleet and what the fleet is supposed to do. If this section is left Blank, the GM shall assume that the Merchant Shipping Points will remain at the same ports and do the same things.

No special action is required to change a port of a fleet (so long as the fleet doesn’t have to go overland, it is OK to change the home port).

Basing Limits

MSP can only be based at a Controlled Port City, of Tributary status or better. Port Areas cannot support MSP. If the Port city is on a River, then only Light Transport-derived MSP can be placed there.

Each GPv of the port city can support 20 MSP, multiplied by the Tax Multiple of the status you exert over the city. Therefore, a Friendly 15 GPv port city can theoretically support up to (15 × 20 = 300) Merchant Shipping Points. A Tributary 15 GPv port city could support half of that number.

Max MSP = GPv × 20 × Tax Multiple

Changing Shipping Allocations

When you find that the Merchant Shipping allocations on a given Trade Route are not to your liking, you write a Shipping Allocation order that looks like this:

Route# <Route #>
MSP (+/- MSP)

If you’re closing down a route, just zero its allocated Merchant Shipping Points and ship units. If the base Port needs to change, just put in the new Location.

Example Route #00174 MSP -30

This would remove 30 MSP from route #174.

New Sea Trade Routes

When you are opening a new Sea Trade route, you must provide the GM with all of the following information about the new route. If you do not, he will ignore you and your feeble pleas for mercy. All the conditions below must be satisfied at the beginning of the turn or the new route will not be opened.

  1. The name of the nation you want to trade with. (The To Nation field).
  2. The destination port city in the other nation. This must be a controlled city that is connected to their capital city via a contiguous series of controlled regions. You may cross Rivers and Ferry Arrows while tracing control, but not Sea Zones by themselves.
  3. Your port of origin. This must be a controlled city that is connected to your capital city via a contiguous series of controlled regions. You may cross Rivers and Ferry Arrows while tracing control, but not Sea Zones by themselves. Note that the Base Port of your ships can differ from your port of origin.
  4. The distance (in Sea Zones) from your port to the target port in the other nation. Situations may arise where nation A will be able to establish a Trade Route of distance X, while nation B will be able to establish a trade route of distance Y (caused by, for example, one-way Open Ocean Arrows). When this situation develops the Distance of the Route is the average of the two route lengths, rounded up. If for some reason one Nation (either A or B) loses their ability to maintain the trade route, then the Distance of the Route reverts to the partner able to maintain trade, and the losing partner's MSP are removed from the route.
  5. The number of Merchant Shipping Points that are allocated to the new route. (Not required for Hands-Off Trade.)
Example England opens a trade route to the Danish Empire. Hull in Anglia is the furthest east a port they own. They allocate 4 MSP to open the route and it will go to Kobenhaven (the nearest Danish port and, incidentally, the Danish capital). This route is three sea zones long, North Sea to Viking Bank to Skaggerak. On their orders they should indicate the following:

New Route: Denmark( Kobenhaven) from Hull, 3sz, 4msp.

On the order form, it would look like this:

From (Your Port City) Hull
Via 3 sz
To (Nation) Denmark
To (Their Port City) Kobenhaven
MSP 4 msp

Conversion to Wartime Duty

At the beginning of any turn, each 1 MSP on a trade route may be turned into a national Light Transport (xt) unit at the cost of 3 GP. Only Light Transports may be created in this way. These units appear at the Base Port of the Route they were converted from. (It would require 10 MSP to be converted into 10 xt to obtain the equivalent of 1 NFP.)

Example The Danes are locked in an endless war with Sweden (no surprise, right?) and need more ships to carry their troops. They decided to withdraw ships from an Internal Trade route at Pisa. There are 60 MSP based at Pisa, so they could convert them to 60 light transport units by paying 180gp.

Hands-Off Trade (Optional Rule)

Some campaigns use a new “Hands-Off Trade” approach to make life for the GM and the players easier. Fundamentally, the HOT system attempts to automate the process of adding and removing MSP routes by following market demand.

Merchant Houses (introduced in the Modern Age supplement), however, still use the standard trade system (including having to build transport units to convert into MSP, and adding MSP to new routes).

Open Nations, Religious Primacies, Religious Orders and Secret Empires do not have to build transports to convert into MSP. Instead, when they open a new trade route, the system calculates a starting set of MSP for the route, based on the nation’s NMV, the size (Total Trade Value) of the route, and the free capacity at the port basing the route.

The trade partners on a given route are also now noted as to whether they can provide MSP for the route (a “Yes” or a “No” in the proper column of the trade route display). You may only provide MSP for a route if you are able to Open the route with your current trade range and conduit setup. A route is opened as shown in New Sea Trade Routes with the exception that the initial MSP is not defined.

Open trade routes for which you can assign MSP, which are based at a port with free MSP basing capacity, which are under-capacity for the whole route (a non-negative “FreeCap” number) will automatically accrue new MSP to “fill up” the route at the rate of: NMV × FreeCap per turn.

MSP are automatically added and removed by the program, depending on whether the route is under- or over-capacity and whether the base port is under- or over-capacity.

However an Open Nation, Primacy or Order can elect to shift trade route MSP from route to route or add MSP to the route if the King/Pope/Grand-Master performs the “Intervene in Mercantile Affaires” action. You are also free to attack the shipping of your trade partner (secretly, of course) to reduce their MSP allocation, thus allowing yours to grow and make you more money.


Your status report shows the various sources of Income available to you in the Economic Information section. The sum of Regional Income, City Income, Inter-City Income (including extra income from Royal Roads), Public Works Income and Inter-Nation Trade Income is your Base Revenue. Multiply this figure by your current Tax Rate and you get your Net Revenue for the current turn. This number when combined with Saved Gold will produce Total GP available for this turn.

Total NFP is taken from the stat sheet as well. These numbers are your revenue for this turn.

Once it has been determined how much you have to spend, you must indicate how you are going to spend it. Below the revenue section are the support costs that a nation must pay for upkeep. These are Troop Support, Government Support, Intel Support, Project Support and Religion Support.

Following the Support Costs are opportunities to invest in government, education, espionage ratings and each of the Army QRs. Some blank lines are provided in case you decide to spend your money on things like diplomacy, Leader pensions, sending gold to other nations, donations to the poor, and throwing wild parties and the like. The line labeled “So Far” is used to subtotal the previous expenses. The space labeled “Builds” is for the total GP and NFP spent in the Construction section. “Total Spent” is the sum of “So Far” and “Builds”.

The final line labeled “Saved” indicates the amount of GP and NFP left after this turn to be available for the next turn. The Saved amounts are simply the Total GP and NFP available (“Total”) minus any GP and NFP expenses for the turn (“Total Spent”).

Gold Carried by a Leader

On some occasions, national GP may be in the hands of a specific Leader (and so noted on the stat sheet). In this case, only that Leader may spend the GP (usually for bribes) at his current location; unless the Leader returns to the Capital and returns the GP to the treasury, in which case it goes into your Saved GP.

A Leader moving by themselves openly can carry 50 GP by himself (figuratively speaking) or moving secretly can deliver 30 GP. Each additional 50 GP above this requires one unit of troops to guard the baggage train. A Leader may also move gold around in ships. Each Cargo capacity point of a ship can hold up to 100 GP.


All QRs, Espionage ratings, Religious ratings, the Bureaucratic Level and Infrastructure can be increased by the investment of Gold and/or NFP. Whether or not a QR, BL or Infrastructure goes up is based on the luck of the bones. Of course, the more invested, the more likely it is that the rating will go up. And the higher your QR, BL or Infrastructure, the harder it is to make it go even higher. In the special case of BL, your Imperial Size can also hinder promotion.

Each NFP invested in a statistic counts as 2 GP. Slave economy nations may use slave NFP for investment purposes.

Investment into a particular rating will accumulate until the investment is good enough to bump the rating to the next level. All investment into the rating is thus expended and the investment will drop back down to zero.

Monies, once invested in a rating, cannot be recovered or withdrawn from the Investment.

BL and Infrastructure are limited by both the nation’s current Tech Level and its Government Type for details). Also a nation’s Tech Level also regulates the maximum Quality Rating for each of the military types.

Table 5-2. Max. QRs per Culture and Tech Level


Tech Level Cavalry Infantry Warship Siege
3 5 5 4 5
4 7 6 5 7
5 8 7 6 8
6 9 8 7 10
7 10 10 10 12


Tech Level Cavalry Infantry Warship Siege
2 3 4 4 4
3 5 5 4 5
4 7 6 5 7


Tech Level Cavalry Infantry Warship Siege
1 0 (1) 3 2 2
2 0 (2) 4 4 4
3 0 (3) 5 4 5

Note: Cavalry is available to Pre-Columbian cultures only after the introduction of horse and the expiration of the Cavalry Count in that geographic area.


Tech Level Cavalry Infantry Warship Siege
2 5 3 2 2
3 7 4 3 3
4 9 5 4 5


Tech Level Cavalry Infantry Warship Siege
1 0 3 4 2
2 1 4 6 4
3 3 5 6 5
4 5 6 7 7
5 6 7 8 8
6 7 8 9 10
7 8 10 12 12

Failure to Pay Support Costs

Failure to pay your Support Costs is likely to have a severe detrimental effect on your nation: troops are likely to mutiny, disperse or turn mercenary, clerks, clerics, spies and officers will seek alternative employment, and Leaders may end their allegiance. Your nation will start to fall apart at the beginning of the turn.

If you cannot pay your Support Costs then there are a number of options available to you:

  • Borrow from your bank, or from one of the other lenders, to pay the troops and clerks.
  • Order your armies to immediately loot and your fleets to conduct piracy wherever they are, hoping they do not disperse or mutiny before then.
  • You might have salted away enough in Saved to pay the Support Costs...


Before a nation can build an item (public works, cities, projects, units, etc.) they must meet four criteria:

  1. They have the GP to pay for the item.
  2. They have the NFP (if needed) to pay for the item.
  3. They have a valid Build Location for the item.
  4. The item is on their build chart.

Valid Build Locations fall into two main categories:

  • Non-mobile-unit items – cities, public works, projects, fortifications – can be built at any Controlled (at the start of the turn) region or city to which a valid Line of Communication can be traced with the following exclusions:
    • Field Forts cannot be built in Non-Paying Tributary regions.
    • Wall Points cannot be built for Non-Paying Tributary cities.
    • Cities can only be built in regions controlled at Tributary or higher control levels. They cannot be built in Non-Paying Tributary region because those are giving lip-service to allegiance to your nation.
  • Mobile units – infantry, cavalry, warships and so on – must be built within the confines of the Homeland Build Zone with some exceptions.

See the Regional Status Effects Summary for full details.

Different types of construction appear at the start or end of the turn. For example, it is not possible to build PWB above the maximum GPv of a city on the same turn that the city itself is being expanded. Cities are built/expanded at the end of the turn; PWB is built at the beginning.

Table 5-3. Build Completion

Build Type When Complete
City End of the Turn
Colony End of the Turn
Ferry Point Start of the Turn
Fortress End of the Turn
Monolithic Construction End of the Turn
Port Area End of the Turn
PWB Start of the Turn
Region End of the Turn
Trade Route Start of the Turn
Units (excepting Wallpoints) Start of the Turn
Wallpoints End of the Turn

If a city is besieged at the very beginning of the turn it is not possible to build units in the city (including Wall Points) unless the necessary Industrial Capacity, GP, and NFP is already present in the city (not in the national pool) to work with.

Lines of Communication for Construction

To support construction a Line of Communication must be traceable by land or sea.

If the LOC for construction of an open nation has to jump across a sea zone or ocean it must run through a controlled un-besieged, un-blockaded Port City (at Tributary or better) into the first Sea Zone, and must exit through a controlled un-besieged, un-blockaded Port City (at Tributary or better) as well, when returning to land.

Example: Japan wishes to build some field forts in Parhae (just north of Korea proper). The Japanese capital is at Heian in Yamato province. The shortest possible LOC would run from Yamato, by land through Shimane province to the port town of Himeji on the Dozen Wan, through that sea zone, through Choson Mon and into the port city of Adak in Anshan province. Then the LOC could continue overland to Parhae. However, if the Japanese did not actually control a port city on the mainland, they could not build cities, fortifications or projects there – even if they controlled the provinces of Korea and Manchuria.

If the Control Web of a Primacy, Religious Order, Secret Empire (or Merchant House in the Modern Era) has to jump across a sea zone or ocean, then NFP for construction has to be shipped (by a Leader) from a controlled site connected by a land-based Control Web to their capital, unless they control a port at both ends at Tributary or better.

Note that if the Holy City / Order Fortress/ Stronghold / Home Office is based in a port city then it acts in this instance as a control status ‘at Tributary or better.’

NFP Moved By a Leader

If NFP has to be shipped by a Leader it has an Action Point modifier of -2 if moved by land. A Leader escorting National NFP by land can escort up to 50 NFP.

If moved by sea each point of NFP requires one Cargo Point.

Table 5-4. NFP Action Point Capacity

Culture Action Points
Pre-Columbian 3
Civilized 4
Seafaring 5
Barbarian 6
Nomadic 6

Homeland Build Zone Restrictions

Mobile national units can only be built in the Homeland or in Friendly Cities within the Homeland Build Zone (HBZ) with the following exceptions:

  • Light vessels can be built at coastal Homelands or Port Areas in Friendly Regions within the HBZ.
  • If there is no Port City within the HBZ then the nearest friendly Port City (in Action Points) to the Homeland to which a Line of Communication can be traced can be used to build ships.
  • Light Cavalry can be built at a Friendly Steppe region within the nation which does not have to be within the Homeland Build Zone.
  • Nomads and Barbarians can also build at any Trade Center as if it were a City so long as they control it.

The HBZ is defined those friendly regions and cities within (HBZ) Action Points of Movement from the Capital (or the Homeland province if there is no Capital) to which a Line of Communication by land can be traced. The HBZ Line of Communication does not cross a Sea Zone or Sea Arrow, but may cross a controlled Ferry Point.

Allied regions and Cities may only be used for the construction of units of the appropriate ‘owning’ Ally. An Allied region or City counts as a Homeland for the specific Ally only.

Field Fort units may be built in any controlled region except Non-Paying Tributary; you do not actually have any control over the region, save for movement purposes.

Field Forts built in Allied, Economic Allied, Feudal Allied, or Tributary regions belong to the region, not to the ‘national’ government (but can be used as ‘national’ garrisons and still require support costs to be paid, where applicable).

Religious Primacies, Religious Orders or Secret Empires trace their Homeland Build Zone from their Holy City, Order Fortress and Cultic Stronghold (respectively).

Building Public Works

A player’s investment in Public Works represents monies spent on better housing, roads, public sanitation and the general welfare of the people. The immediate result of such investment is a return of GP as noted by the Public Works Bonus on the player’s status report.

Open Nations, Religious Primacies, Religious Orders and Secret Empires may build Public Works in regions and cities where they maintain a control status which yields some amount of tax revenue up to the maximum allowable for each kind of location (see Table 5-6. Maximum Public Works Bonuses). In addition, Public Works can be built in an uncontrolled region if the GP / NFP required to build the PWB are moved to the region by a Leader. Presumably this will be done as part of a diplomatic overture.

The cost of building a Public Works point varies by the terrain of the region it is being built in. City Public Works, in contrast, have a fixed cost. In the following table of costs, 1 NFP can be substituted for 2 GP. This substitution only applies for Public Works.

Table 5-5. Public Works Point Costs

Region Terrain Cost of 1 PWB point
c2 / c / i / city 10 GP
w / j / s 15 GP
d / t / m 20 GP

Each region and city also has a maximum number of Public Works points that can be built in it. This limit is based on the terrain and GPv of the region, and the GPv of the city, as shown in the following table:

Table 5-6. Maximum Public Works Bonuses

Region Terrain PWB Maximum
c2 GPv × 20
c GPv × 15
w / j GPv × 5
s / d / t / m GPv × 2
City, Island GPv × 10

Example: The Venetian Republic wants to build some Public Works in the province of Verona. Verona is a 4 GPv Cultivated province, so it can have a maximum of (4 × 15 = 60) Public Works points in it. Currently it has 19 Public Works points. They could build up to 41 more points. Since Verona is a Cultivated region, each Public Works point would cost them 10 GP (or, alternatively, 5 NFP).

Public Works revenue is affected by the Region Status Taxation multiple. Thus, tributary regions will produce only one-half of their Public Works value in revenue, while Public Works in Non-Paying Tributary regions produce no revenue.

When a player decides to invest in Public Works they purchase the Public Works Bonus points at the cost listed above and then designates the region or city in which they will be expended. Thereafter, the PWB points are fixed and cannot be moved. Additional points may, of course, be expended, but only up to some multiple of the Region’s GPv as described in the previous table. If the region or city containing the PWB points is lost, the Public Works points are lost as well.

Public Works points in a location (region or city) may be destroyed by the following circumstances, depending on the severity of the event:

  • Battle between armies in the region.
  • Siege of the city.
  • Raids against the region.
  • Civil unrest.

Public Works points in a region or city will be destroyed by the following circumstances:

Public Works points that are destroyed by any of these means must be rebuilt from scratch.

Mass Conscription

In times of dire need a nation may call up extra manpower from the young and the old; those who would not normally bear arms. By declaring ‘mass conscription’ a nation may expend up to twice (×2) the usual amount of NFP they receive each turn. This overspending is deducted from the replacement NFP that a nation would normally receive on the following turn.

These extra NFP, however, can only be used to build troop units - not for investments, megalithic constructions or any other purpose than troops.

At a maximum a nation can only mass conscript every other turn. In addition, you cannot mass conscript if you have negative NFP in the Pool. (This may happen during a war where the mass-conscripting nation loses some friendly regions or cities during the turn, and they find themselves at a negative on the following turn).

Mass conscription is only an option for open nations. Religious Primacies and Orders and Secret Empires cannot mobilize their population in this manner.

Example: The French are in a tight spot, being attacked by the Germans and the Spanish simultaneously. They are getting 23 NFP per turn usually and they declare mass conscription. As a result they can spend up to 46 NFP in the current turn. The next turn, assuming that they spent all 46 NFP, they will get no NFP at all.

Building Armies

To construct units, such as infantry, you must note how many you wish to build, and where you wish to build them, and which army (if any) they are being assigned to first. With any form of construction you must note the GP, NFP and Industry expense in the appropriate columns. Once you’ve noted all the construction you will do in the turn, total the GP and NFP columns and place the totals on the Expense Section line labeled “Builds”.

Unit build costs are listed in the Unit Build Chart, and are indexed by Society Type of the building nations. Unless otherwise specified, all units are mustered at the beginning of the new turn.

Mobile units can move the same turn that they are mustered. Troop Support is calculated at the end of the turn, so units do not have to be supported the turn that they are built, but rather the turn following. Coastal Homelands are considered to be Port Areas for the purposes of ship construction.

Industry Limits per City

Some kinds of units (Heavy-class infantry and cavalry, alls kinds of Ships, Engineers) require the use of City Industry to build, in addition to GP and NFP. As a result, the City Industry rating of the build location will limit the total number of units which can be constructed in a single turn.

The Industry capacity of a City is noted as an iXX value in each City description line on your stat sheet.

The Industry cost of a unit is given in the Build Charts, under the IndCost column.

Basic Unit Types

There are seven basic kinds of units available for play in Lords of the Earth.

CAVALRY (C): The Cavalry unit represents the most effective open field combat unit, usually a purely horse-mounted force. During the Middle Ages, the horse-mounted man was the most effective arm on the battlefield, as well as being representative of the ruling class of the society. The actual composition of the unit varies wildly, from the horse-archer formations of the Asian steppe, to the mixed formations of heavy and light horse of the feudal lords of Europe.

All types of light cavalry confer a small scouting bonus.

INFANTRY (I): In contrast, the Infantry unit represents the “filler” for a number of the armies of the Middle Ages, being composed of foot troops, sometimes with mounted officers. These units vary from the mob-like formations of feudal Europe to the highly disciplined and effective Norse and Chinese, the Swiss and German pikemen, Welsh and English archers, and Italian crossbowmen. Infantry will probably form the main numbers of an army, or will be used for garrison duty and city defense.

SIEGE ENGINEERS (S): A very specialized unit, the Siege unit is formed of a cadre of professional engineers, sappers, miners and demolition experts. Carrying little save their skills and certain useful tools (pulleys, saws, drills, winches and, of course, shovels), the Siege unit also has a large number of laborers attached. On site, these units will build ballista, catapults and siege platforms for use in siege situations. Engineer units are not counted as elite.

Engineers may also assist an army undertaking a Defend action by building fieldworks and fortified camps.

FIELD FORTS (F): The Field Fort unit represents that staple of the Middle Ages, the Castle. The actual form of the unit varies by culture, representing such disparate constructions as Saxon hill forts, Norman castles, Afghan bandit fortresses and Chinese way forts. Though the Field Fort is not as formidable an objective as a city, it can prove to be a tough nut to crack. Field Forts in large numbers have been known to turn away great armies. Intrinsic infantry units man Field Forts but these troops are attached to the fort they are in and therefore cannot move. Thus a Field Fort makes an ideal garrison.

Armies defending in regions containing friendly field forts get a bonus in combat, in addition to the strength of the forts themselves. The presence of Field Forts will also cause an attack action to take more AP to complete, slowing down your enemies.

If Field Forts are built for an Ally at the one-half NFP rate, then the Forts belong to the Ally.

Field Forts fight using the Siege QR of the nation.

The maximum number of Field Forts that can be built by a position in a region is limited to:

(GPv of the region +1) x (Siege QR/2)
x Control Status Tax Multiple x Terrain Type Tax Multiple

Fractional forts round up to 1. Zero forts remain zero. The presence of a Field Fort in a region adds an additional +1 Movement Modifier to any enemy moving through the region.

WALL POINTS (WP): Also known as “City Forts”, these units are added directly to the defenses of Cities or Fortresses. Each covers a wide range of possible defenses, including such items as: the city garrison itself, thicker walls, added bastions, escape tunnels, blind walls, and hot boiling tar. Though quite capable of defending a city by themselves, they can be aided by Siege units and Infantry.

WARSHIPS (W): These formations are composed of ships outfitted for war and raiding at sea. Although they possess a nominal ability to carry cargo, they are more suited to the swift shock of combat and the sudden dawn raid. Like all units, they vary in composition and form; from the sleek longships of the Northmen, to the archaic galleys of the Mediterranean, to the formidable junks of the Asians.

TRANSPORTS (T): While the Warships may deign to carry men and material, the Transport is a ship built for the task. Characterized by a lack of maneuvering speed and combat capability, the Transport excels at moving large amounts of cargo long distances. In general, these ships, when put to war, are confiscated or rented from the merchant classes.

Training Levels (Optional Rule)

There are three training levels of units: Inexperienced (i), Regular (r) and Elite (e).

Inexperienced troop units cost less than regular troops and sometimes are generated in revolutions. Elite units cost more GP and NFP than a regular unit to build. Only Cavalry and Infantry can be built as Inexperienced and Elite units. See your own national Unit Build Chart for costs.

Equipment Classes (Optional Rule)

In addition, there are three unit equipment classes or 'weights'. These define just how heavily armed and equipped the troops are. The equipment classes are Heavy (h), Medium (m) and Light (x). Light units cost slightly less than Medium units to build but can move faster. Heavy units cost more to build and they move slower than regular units. Heavy cavalry and infantry units are also Elite.

Generally speaking, the ‘heavier’ the equipment of a unit, the more damage it can take in battle, and the more damage it can deal out. See your own national Unit Build Chart for costs.

Demobilizing Units

While units will disappear if maintenance costs are not paid for them, there may arise situations where the player desires to demobilize units to use the NFP they represent for other things. Units may only be voluntarily demobilized at the start of a turn to:

  • build, expand, or rebuild cities in the region where they are demobilized,
  • participate in Megalithic Construction projects in the region where they are demobilized,
  • be converted to another unit type at a valid build location within the region in which the units were demobilized,
  • settle a colonizable region in or adjacent to the region in which they are demobilized,
  • build Public Works in the region in which they are demobilized.

When units are demobilized, they produce the NFP used to build them. The NFP from demobilized units can provide all or part of the NFP of a project.

The following kinds of units may not be demobilized directly into NFP: Ferry Points and Merchant Shipping Points. MSP may, however, be converted into ship units (with the appropriate cost) and those ship units may be demobilized.

Allied troops can only be demobilized to build Public Works, build or expand a city, create a colony (see Colonize Region and Colonize Inhabited Region), or convert to another unit type; in each case the resulting Public Works, city, region, or unit belong to the Allied Leader. If demobilized as a colony, the resulting colony is Friendly to the Allied Leader, and would appear on the Nation stat sheet as an Economic Ally - with a note indicating they are actually part of the Ally’s fief.

Units that are demobilized by a lack of Troop Support do not reenter the NFP pool; they are lost. Units can be voluntarily dismissed to reduce the Troop Support, but such NFP are also lost and do not reenter the NFP pool.

Building Fortresses

The Fortress is like a city but without any economic value. A Fortress is built by spending 10 NFP and 10 GP. This will create a foundation and 1 Wall Point. Additional Wall Points can be built to increase the ramparts of a fortress. If a fortress is built next to a sea zone, a port can be declared, creating a Port Fortress. A City may be built around a Fortress, but not vice-versa. If a Fortress is built in an area that already has a city, then the Fortress will be built outside that city.

A player may elect, however, to build a Fortress adjacent to an existing city. If the city then expands, it may encompass the Fortress.

Building Troops for Allied Regions

In addition to building national troops, the nation may also raise and equip levies for its various Full Allied Leaders and their regions. Such troops become the property of the Full Allied Leader and only that Full Allied Leader may command them henceforth. Existing national troops may also be given to a Full Allied Leader, whereupon they too become Allied troops and can only be commanded by that Full Allied Leader.

Such troops, however, cost one-half of the NFP that an equivalent national unit would cost. There is a limit, however, to the number of allied units that an Allied region can build in a turn. This limit is equal to:

Build Limit = 5 × Region GPv

If the Full Ally is from a city instead of a region, then the limit is:

Build Limit = City GPv

This limit is applied against the full NFP cost of the units. Cities, Megalithic Constructs and Public Works are not covered by this rule and cost the full amount in National NFP.

Example: The Kingdom of France has acquired the region of Switzerland as a Full Ally. The French desire to expand the Swiss army so that they can invade Italy. Switzerland as a GPv of 2, which gives them a build limit of (2 × 5 = 10). they can build up to 10 NFP worth of units each turn, at a cost (in National NFP) of 5 NFP.

Hiring Mercenaries

Throughout the world, as defined by your Game Master, there will be bands or “pools” of landless, masterless men who serve as mercenaries in the armies of the princes of the age. In general, these mercenary pools are arranged by geographic region.

Each pool has number of mercenary units, which may be of any or all unit types. New units appear in the pools when independent regions are conquered, nations die or other cataclysms occur. Mercenary units are killed in battle or siege, just like regular units.

Hiring Mercenary Condotierri

To employ Mercs from an available pool they must be hired. Once hired, Mercs can perform a wide range of actions, just like normal units. Hired units “appear” at the beginning of the turn in which they are hired.

Hiring Mercs is resolved in the following manner: A hiring player makes a set bid for a certain number of Mercs. If no one has outbid him, and if there are enough Mercs to go around, then they are able to use the Mercs for the rest of the turn of hire.

When a bid is made, the player allots a sum of GP and informs the GM of the price per unit they will pay for Mercs. The minimum bid is ½ GP per unit.

Example: The German player wishes to hire some Mercenary Infantry at Aachen. To this end he makes a bid of 0.5 GP per Merc Infantry unit and allots a sum of 10 GP to the endeavor. As a result, he will receive the services of 20 Mercenary Infantry for the rest of the turn of hire if he is not outbid.

When hiring, the number and type of mercenary units must be specified, as must the Merc Pool out of which they are being hired, and the location where they are to appear.

If the mercenaries do not take a bid, the gold will be put back into the Treasury as Saved Gold.

If two or more players bid the same amount, then they split the number of mercenaries between them, each paying the bid rate for them.

Mercenary Starting Position

Mercenaries can only be hired at a controlled City or a player’s Homeland (if there is no controlled City) that is within their “region”. The one exception to this is in the case of a band of mercenaries that are hired in a merc region and then moved, in the course of a turn, to another merc region. The next turn, the same Nation may rehire them at the location where they ended the previous turn. If that same Nation does not re-hire them, or if another Nation hires them, then the mercs revert to their original merc region.

Bribing And Counter-Bribing Mercenaries

If a player wishes to deprive another player of his Mercenaries, they need only Bribe them. To be able to bribe a Mercenary condotta the bribing player must have a Leader in the same region and expend GP equal to the hire cost of the Mercs in question. The mercenaries are then nullified, vanishing from the region where they were at the time of the bribery and returning to the proper Mercenary Pool. If a player pays double the Mercs’ hire cost, then they switch to his side for the remainder of the turn.

When bidding for mercenaries, you should submit separate bids for units and Leaders. The nation that originally hired the mercenaries can counter this bribery with its own gold, needing to equal or exceed the bribe to retain its mercenaries.

Establishing Colonies

Creating colonies is usually a peaceful method of expansion that rarely inconveniences anyone. The majority of such expansions are made into Colonizable Regions, most of which exist in the north Asian tundra, Australia and North and South America. Colonies can also be established with loyal populations in regions that are Pacified so as to cause them to become Friendly to the nation.

All types of colonization are often a National Project, conducted over one or more turns.

The four methods of colonizing a region or city are:

  • Colonizing an unsettled location. This can also be performed if the location has been forcibly depopulated by enslaving the population or other unsavory means.
  • Colonizing an inhabited Pacified location to replace the local elite.
  • Settling an inhabited location, driving off the indigenous populace.
  • Merchant colonization, introduced in the Modern Era.

A colony can be created in a location controlled at Pacified or higher at the beginning of the turn (subject to the restrictions in the sections below).

If the location was not controlled at the start of the turn then the GP and NFP must be moved to the location by a Leader and deposited. This requires the use of the Colonize or Colonize Inhabited Region Action. During a turn a location can be Pacified (the population genocided or enslaved if desired) and a Leader attempt to create a colony. The colony will then be present at the start of the next turn.

Colonizing Unsettled Regions

The Colonization of a Colonizable Region (CR) can be accomplished by the expenditure of 30 GP and 25 NFP for each one GPv increase, starting at a base value of minus one (-1). In other words, the first installment of 30 GP and 25 NFP installment will make the area a (0/?) region, and the second installment will make it a (1/?) region.

The GP and NFP may be expended over a period of time with each GPv increase coming when the requisite GP and NFP have been expended. Each kind of region has a maximum GP value that it can be colonized to. If the region becomes cultivated, it is possible to colonize the region to a higher GPv.

Colonizable Regions are noted on the map by a set of parentheses around a slash, like so: (-/-).

If the CR to be colonized is adjacent to a controlled land region, then the player may expend the requisite GP and NFP directly. If, however, the CR is not adjacent to a controlled land region, then the GP and NFP must be moved to the CR by a Leader and deposited. This requires the use of the Colonize Action. Until the colony is complete, then the GP and NFP must be moved to the CR by a Leader and deposited there, unless the region being colonized has a controlled port in it, that is in line of communication (i.e. within trade range of another port you control, connected by land regions back to the capital).

The Resistance value of a newly colonized CR will range from 1 to 10 and is randomly generated by the GM.

Note that if a CR is settled and then converted to a Cultivated Region then it can be settled again to a maximum GPv of 2 for the expenditure of 50 GP and 25 NFP. This only applies to regions that were initially Colonizable Land Regions, not to regions that had starting values (because in those regions the natural resources have already been depleted by human activities).

Table 5-7. Maximum GPv for Colonizable Regions

Region Terrain Maximum GP value
c 2
w, j, s, d, m, i 1
t 0

Regions With an Initial 0-GPv

Some regions on the map begin with a 0 GPv and a Resistance value. These are very marginal provinces, not suited to having more than a minimal population. These provinces may not be Colonized to a higher GPv.

Colonizing Depopulated Regions

Regions that have been depopulated by enslavement, genocide or migration can be colonized too. The cost of each level is 50 GP and 25 NFP. The first level of colonization creates a ( 0 / n ) region. The ‘n’ is the same resistance value the region was assigned before. A depopulated region can be resettled back to its original (map) GPv.

Colonizing Populated Locations

Colonization represents the immigration of friendly populations replacing the native nobility amongst an existing hostile milieu. The intent is to convert a Pacified region or city to a Friendly one.

If a nation colonizes more than one or two populated locations in this manner, their Society type may change to Caste, due to the development of social stratification.

Colonization has no set time cost, simply requiring the GP and NFP (or Tribal Points) representing the colonists to be delivered to the location.

If the target of the colonization is not adjacent to a controlled land region, then the GP and NFP must be moved to the CR by a Leader and deposited. This requires the use of the Colonize Inhabited Region Action. This action is also required if Tribal Points are being settled in a populated area. Until the colony is complete, then the GP and NFP must be moved to the CR by a Leader and deposited there, unless the region being colonized has a controlled port in it, that is in line of communication (i.e. within trade range of another port you control, connected by land regions back to the capital).

When complete, the region or city becomes a Friendly Colony (FC) code. This code is equivalent to Friendly (F) for all control and revenue purposes except that the location retains the religion and language of the native underclass. The ruling religion/language is recorded in the Regional or City notes field.

Colonizing Populated Regions

Regions that are already populated may also be colonized or settled.

The cost of such colonization is (25 × GPv of the Region) in GP and (13 x GPv of the Region) in NFP. Until all of the cost has been paid, the region remains Pacified. Once the cost is paid, the province may revolt against the interlopers, or it may not. If a province successfully revolts the colony investment is lost.

Example: The Greek city state of Athens decides to colonize the inhabited province of Sicily. Sicily is a 2 GPv province, so it will cost the Athenians (2 × 25 = 50 GP and 26 NFP) to convert the province to Friendly.

Settlement is the brutal driving off of the original population, replacing them with immigrants bringing their religion and language. This is a level 3 MC, costing 150gp and 75nfp per GPv of the region. Until all of the cost has been paid, the region remains Pacified.

Colonizing Populated Cities

Cities that are already populated may also be colonized or settled.

The cost of such colonization is (15 × GPv of the City) in GP and (10 x GPv of the City) in NFP. Until all of the cost has been paid, the city remains Pacified. Once the cost is paid, the city may revolt against the interlopers, or it may not. If a province successfully revolts the colony investment is lost.

Example: The Greek city state of Athens decides to colonize the inhabited city of Corcyra. Corcyra is a 4 GPv city, so it will cost the Athenians (4 × 15 = 60 GP and 4 x 10 = 40 NFP) to convert the city to Friendly.


Settlement is a variant of colonizing a populated location. It involves the brutal driving off of the original Pacified population, replacing them with immigrants bringing their own religion and language. At the start of the Settlement the natives may attempt to rebel - when the Settlement is complete there are no natives left. It avoids generating slave National Force Points which may be inconvenient if the nation wishes to avoid adopting a Slave economic base.

This method of colonization is often employed in Horde Settlement when the nomads settle Tribal Points in a Pacified location and decide to convert it to Friendly instead of a Friendly Colony.

Settlement is a level 3 MC, costing 150gp and 75nfp per GPv of the region or city. Until all of the cost has been paid, the region remains Pacified. When completed the location becomes Friendly to the nation.

Building Cities

A new city may be built in any controlled region that can be reached by a Line of Communication from the nation’s Capital or Homeland (if there is no capital).

To build a colonial city (one that is not in Line of Communication from the nation's capital or homeland) or outside controlled territory requires a Leader Action.

Sooner or later a player will desire to build cities so that they may increase his economic base and the general strength of the nation. A newly built city is Friendly to the nation that built it, thus providing its full value in GP and NFP.

When a city is built in a coastal region, it must be noted whether the city will be a Port City or whether it will be built inland. If no notation is made, then the city will be built inland. When building a port city in a region that borders more than one sea zone, indicate which sea zone or sea zones the city borders.

Since a city’s construction takes an entire turn, it will appear at the end of a turn. If the region a city is being built in is attacked in the first half of a turn, the city GP and NFP will return to the Saved GP and NFP pools, and the city will not be built. City construction costs are noted in the following table along with the cost to increase the size of an existing city.

Slave NFP can be used to build or expand a city if your national economic type is Slave. However, if more than 50% of the NFP cost of expansion or creation of the city comes from Slave NFP, then the city will be Pacified in status.

Table 5-8. City Construction & Expansion Costs

c2/c/i region w/m/j region s/d/t region result
Initial 20gp/15nfp 30gp/20nfp 40gp/25nfp [1/0]
Increase 30gp/20nfp 35gp/25nfp 40gp/30nfp [+1/0]

Rebuilding Sacked Cities

If a city gets sacked without being Burnt, then part of the city can be rebuilt later at a cost cheaper than raising a new one from scratch. The first GPv of a sacked city can be rebuilt for the cost of 7 NFP and 10 GP. After that, all levels must be rebuilt at normal costs. You may build a fortress inside a sacked city before restoring its first GPv.

Expanding Cities

When a city is expanded, the Wall Points around the old city are torn down. If the city Control Status is Ally or above it is a good idea to demobilize the NFP of the old wall points to either rebuild new wall points around the expanded city or build something else. A city can only expand one GPv per turn. The entire cost to increase a city must be paid the turn of the increase.

Example: The Azuchi Shogunate decides to expand the city of Taska from 4 GPv to 5 GPv. The city already has 10 wall points. To retain the NFP represented by the wall points, they first demobilize the wall points, yielding 10 NFP, then expand the city, costing 30 GP and 20 NFP, then rebuild the walls, using the demobilized NFP for a cost of 50 GP and 0 NFP. Total cost of expanding the city equals 30+50 = 80 GP and 20 NFP.

If the city has a Control Status of Economic Ally or below the imposition of the new immigrant population may spark riots and revolts. If the populace does not revolt then the city gains one GPv but loses its Wall Points which must be rebuilt from scratch using both the NFP and GP of the builder.

Maximum City Size By Terrain

A limit on city GPv is imposed by the Regional terrain itself. This is reflected here in the maximum allowed size of a city due to Regional terrain. A 1 GPv port city can be built in a 0 GPv region.

Table 5-9. Maximum City Size by Terrain

Region Terrain Maximum GPv
C2 15
C / I 10
W 6
M / J 5
S / D 4
T 3

Maximum City Wall Points

The maximum number of total wall points (WP) that can be built on a city or fortress is limited to the siege QR of the nation constructing the wall points. If a nation captures a city with more wall points than they could build themselves, they can keep the excess. If siege or assault subsequently destroys those excess points, they can not be rebuilt.

Example: The Romans fortify the city of Constantinople to their maximum (Siege Qr = 10, so 10 wall points). After many horrible events, the city is lost to the Pechnegs, who have Siege Qr of 4. Constantinople having been taken by treachery, it retains the 10 wall points. Later, the Arabs besiege the city and destroy three wall points, bringing it down to 7 wall points total. Since 7 is greater than 4 (the Pechneg Siege Qr), they cannot rebuild the lost wall points.

Building Port Areas

Port Areas are coastlines that support a high level of decentralized port capacity and shipbuilding capability. A Port Area can be identified on a map by an anchor symbol near the coastline of the region that either does not contain a city, or contains a city clearly located inland. These areas are more limited than a Port City in that they can only build 20 light-class ship units per turn, as opposed to a Port City, which can build an unlimited number of units of any class in a turn.

On the other hand, Port Areas aid in the unloading and loading of ships by cutting the Action Cost from 2 to 1. In addition, an inland city and a Port Area could prove to be a more secure arrangement for the city when facing persistent coastal raids.

Port Areas can be constructed for the cost of 10 GP and 10 NFP. A Port Area applies to the whole province that it is built in, regardless of how many sea zones the province borders.

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Lords of the Earth 6th Edition
© 2016 Thomas Harlan
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