Ideas on a new RP

Posted here and not in user-created RPs because it still just an idea. Please reply with ideas, comments or questions.

A medieval anime-styled RP where players are generals, or if preferred, commanders of elite units.

Limited resources and population in the lands cause professional soldiers and their equipment to be a prized commodity. As a result battles are fought in skirmishes with full armys in the hundreds instead of thousands. Attempting to gather, equip and train and field forces larger then these would bring financial ruin to smaller nations and reduce the working class to a handfull. A handfull cannot feed and forge equipment for armies and the lack of such supplies results in low morale, which leads to disloyalty, desertion and rebellion with a healthy side of coup d'├ętat.

These things are well known in the land (previous attempts at mass army building have left a rather large and unsavory population of brigands, deserters and highwaymen) and the most simple solution is reduce one's military to what is essential then when attacking to hire mercenaries to bolster the ranks. Due to how well payed and sought after soldiers are, mercinary loyalty isn't typically an issue, though outright acts of leader stupidity or suicidal commands are given the 'respect' they deserve. Certain types of troops may gleefully raid and murder at your command while others will take the moral highground.

To borrow a few comcept I like from Romance of the 3 Kingdoms, players choose to begin their carrers as either freelancers, officers or rulers.

Freelancers have nearly unlimited freedom to come and go as they please. Almost anything is fair game, from exiled princes to brigands. Monks or priests on a religious pilgrimage, travelers, adventurers, merchants seeking to trade or even mercenarys. The sky is the limit. Freelancers tend to deal with problems on a smaller scale, such as bounty hunting or completing missions for others to fill their moneybags and update their gear. Village needs help with bandits? No problem. Unsavory character paying for you to light a local lord's stables on fire on a certain night? You got it. A defenseless village looking just a little too fat and happy? Ripe for the picking. The downside to being a freelancer is that you have nobody really to watch your back. Even if you do favors for certain rulers, you aren't a part of their faction so helping you becomes optional. For better or worse, if you pack up and leave expect your deeds to follow you in the form of reputation and fame.

Officers work for a ruler, be it an NPC or a PC. They are tasked with duties, take part in wars and otherwise act as the eyes and ears, arms and legs of their lord. They are given authority and a stipend for their services and are expected to perform dutifully. So long as said duties are fufilled they are usually free to engage in other business freely, as long as their actions do not reflect poorly upon the ruler. They can expect to be supported by their lord if challenged, rescued if captured and otherwise have a nation backing them.

Rulers are the representative heads of their land, be it Emperor, Queen, Baron, Duchess, High Priest, Merchant Prince, First Wizard, Supreme Chancelor, etc. They have authority in their lands (in some cases absolute) and recieve income from them in the form of gold (as an abstract combination of all resources). They use this gold to pay stipends to officers, in diplomacy, support their personal retinue of troops and gear, or even feed back into the lands to improve various aspects. Rulers (in theory) have a duty to the people to keep them safe and guide them to prosperity. Some interprit this as unifying the world under their rule via crushing all who would oppose them. Others spread their ideals, some just want wealth and glory, etc. Opposing a ruler IS opposing an entire nation. If a ruler is a tyrant that raids and burns down everything in sight, so long as he/she is strengthening their land and paying their troops the whole time they havn't got anything to worry about rebellions. Like attracts like and the people that do not approve of their lord's behavior will either migrate (if it's allowed) or keep quiet for their own good.
Basic idea of combat:

A commander and their soldiers trade blows, if possible. No commander wades into ten armed soldiers and comes out without a scratch unless he is just that much stronger than they are. Archers are an exception to the rule, as nothing can counter attack them unless it also possesses ranged capabilities. Archers are lightly armored, however, and anything that attacks them quickly (mounted, etc) may mow them over before they can put up much of a fight. More on types of units, below.

At the beginning of a battle is the deployment phase, commanders can alter their equipment as they see fit, hire troops for their retinue, attempt to engage in last-minute diplomacy and otherwise get themselves ready.

Although some fights end right here when one side sees the other as far superior and surrenders or flees, the troops still expect half-payment. And yes it is a valid tactic to attempt to wear down an opponents' resources by fielding multiple retreating battles, but garrisoned forces only cost half and forces garrisoned at the ruler's main bastion cost nothing. It is the attackers' burden to worry about supply lines and maintaining an assault.

The land can be salvaged from as they march, cutting troop costs in half, but the population wont like it and some nations take more extreme measures to prevent such behavior (Russia, anyone?). Depending on who is attacking what, a series of skirmishes may be fought leading up to a final showdown, with both sides tying to decide what to hold back and what to risk not coming home each fight.

All soldiers fall into one of several categories, called unit type, which effects their attack and defense against others and how they fight. Note that the commanders themselves also have a unit type. Names are generic and are not indictive of appearance, gender or fighting style, that is up to the player to dictate.

The types are as follows:
Foot, Pike, Mounted, Archer, Flying, Unholy, Holy and Dragon. A unit may seem to belong to more than one type, such as an unholy flying dragon, or mounted archers, but the most defining trait of how they fight takes precedence (eg: unholy dragon is a Dragon. mounted archers are archers). All unit types trump at least one other, exclusing dragon. Nothing trumps dragon and it trumps everything. They are legendary, extremely rare and should never be challenged lightly.


Note that for the sake of simplicity and balance, all melee units have the ability to attack flyers with something, be it hurled (knives, torchers, rocks, etc) or at melee if the flyers are coming close enough.
Combat, cont:

The idea is that a commander faces off with his opponent, be it another commander, wild boar, helpless villagers, bandits, or what have you. Commanders may act once in a turn and their retunie of soldier may also act, once per unit. A commander has a leadership score which dictates how many units they can lead into battle. For simplicity's sake, say leadership allows 1 unit per point and an example commander has a 3 leadership. Assuming they can afford and have payed to field their maximum number of units, that would be 3.

This example commander would then get 4 actions per turn. They would act, be it attacking, defending, treating their wounded, casting any spells they know, resting to recover themselves a bit, or any other single act of importance. Next each of their units would be able to act in whatever order they decide. They might take up defensive positions, charge an enemy, rush in to aid fleeing villagers, try to hold a castle gate against the enemy, flee, set traps, etc.

Note that 'turn' is an abstract period of time and merly indicates a period required for all present in a battle to act and may be minutes or even hours.

Actions are generally performed at the same time, though whoever is modding may decide that certain actions take priority or render others impossible, in which case the unit ceases to act when the change happened. If a commander or unit finds themselves unable to act (or a player forgets to use all their units, or they dont bother), they take up defensive positions by default. For example if archers decide to fire at footmen on a wall but the footmen's action is for the unit to retreat down off the wall, behind safety, the archers can still shoot blindly over the wall, likely achieving little. If a unit of footmen decides to move to and defend a bridge, but a wizard commander blows the bridge up with a fireball, flying fire travels faster then feet so the footmen move near the bridge then defend at a distance which is less immolated. Actions such as "my footmen run into the fire and all die while I laugh" will be ignored, unless you are commanding something mindless or dominating their minds, they will not willingly perform such an action. They stand fast and defend, likely taking serious consideration as to their commander's sanity.

Each unit contains ten soldiers. These ten soldiers represent not only 'hit points', each soldier having one, but also damage capability. A unit that has been shot to pieces and only has three soldiers left can not charge valliently and wipe out ten of anything. Even if they have a type benificial over their foe they will likely defeat 3 to 5 of them. What this all boils down to is numbers. The commander may be a tough-as-nails ninja wizard warrior who can dodge blows and cast spells but soldiers cannot. When an army attacks an army, casualties happen. Fatalities are rarer, given healing magic and how valuable a good soldier is, but the soldiers knew what they were getting into when they agreed to fight so their pay passes on to their families, friends, the mortician, etc.

Something along the lines of: check is the base attack of a unit, then add any bonuses the commander gives, any bonuses from beneficial situation/type/strategy, good roleplay, etc, then do the same thing with an opponent's defense. The difference between these two numbers should be taken into account then a percentage is rolled, with each number appart being added or subtracted from a base of 50%. A unit that scores higher on it's attack, given everything, then the defenders defense, with the same conditions, will likely score multiple casualties. The reverse should be rolled for a counter-attack, assuming one is possible. Melee units can, and often do, defeat each other at the same time with these exchanges, and that is why commanders with wise strategies and good bonuses are so valuable.

A unit that has casualties but hasn't been wiped out may pass it's action on any subsequent turn, and recover 3 per rest period. Units that have been wiped out are either dead or scattered.

Commanders battle in the same manner, except they are far more effective, and may attempt to counter-attack every unit that engages them. If they have some sort of ranged attack or magic attack the enemy unit may not even make it to them before being wiped out or at least diminished. Commanders have a flat ten hit points and as long as they aren't wiped out, may spend an action on subsequent turns to treat their wonds and recover 3. Commanders with heavy armor, exceptional ability at evading, magical shields, or just a the body of a beefy brute will have this reflected in higher defense.

If reduced to zero hit points, a commander is routed and depending on the intentions of the enemy, may attempt to evade capture, flee, or otherwise not get killed. As stated, good commanders are extremely valuable and even if they are extremely loyal and wont ever convert to another faction, they still have value as a hostage and/or diplomatic tool.

Player commanders may only be captured or killed in 2 cases; if the enemy wants it to happen and they also want it to happen, and if they are part of a force that looses a battle in their bastion.