Much of your kingdom's power resides in the might of your military forces. Troops are organized into four categories: Imperial armies, provincial armies, imperial navies, and seazone navies. (Seapower is relatively underdeveloped in most kingdoms of Hyboria, therefore seazones are included in the term provinces.)
Provincial armies (including seazone navies) are the most limited military forces. They may not move outside the areas to which they are assigned or invade neighboring areas. However, provincial armies may carry out raids and can be conscripted into the service of an imperial army that is engaged in an invasion.
Imperial armies are under the direct control of the central government at the capital--these are the least limited and most powerful of your military forces. Imperial armies must always be on either defensive or active status. Defensive imperial armies may not move, raid, or invade. However, they can respond quickly to enemy attacks over a broad range of territory. Active imperial armies may move freely within friendly areas as well as raid or invade foreign provinces. Active imperial armies do not automatically respond to attacks which occur anywhere other than their immediate location. There are literally hundreds of troop types. Each kingdom possesses its own unique units. There are a number of classifications that are used to define them. The broadest and most obvious distinction is made between land and naval forces. Land troops may not engage in conflict in seazones, and only naval troops may raid or invade seazones. Coastland provinces (those bordering a seazone) are accessible to both types of units. Land troops may not move through seazones. Naval units may only move through seazones or coastland provinces.
Troops are further broken down into a number of more distinct classifications, ranging from the mundane to the exotic. For example, there are light, medium, and heavy units of infantry and cavalry; archers, both on foot and horseback; mammoths; war chariots; pikemen; Undead infantry; riders mounted on winged reptiles, and several classes of naval troop units. For a complete listing of troop classifications, see Troop Categories.
Each class of troop has special advantages and disadvantages, depending upon a number of variables. These include the abilities of the troops themselves, the identity of the enemy, the given terrain, a specific combat situation, and others. These conditions are designed to accurately reflect the nature of ancient warfare and imbue the game with almost limitless strategic possibilities. For example, heavy armor offers more protection at a cost of reduced mobility.
Each troop type is rated in four different areas according to their
competence. These are: MISSILE ABILITY, MELEE ABILITY, MORALE, and MOVEMENT
ABILITY. Missile ability is a troop's relative strength using weapons such as
bow and arrow, throwing spears, and other armaments. Melee ability is a
rating of the troop's strength in hand to hand combat. Morale is a measure of
a troop's overall discipline, self-confidence, and ability to continue
fighting in the face of adversity. Movement is a measure of a troop's ability
to travel distances as well as its maneuverability. The first three of these
abilities are ranked on the following scale:
NONE, POOR, ADEQUATE, GOOD, EXCELLENT and SUPERIOR
(this is the "STANDARD RATING SCALE" used frequently
throughout the game). Movement is given a numeric value between 2 and 12
which represents both the distance in provinces that a given troop can move as
well as its relative maneuverability in combat.