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Dominyk's Journal
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Because I'm curious 
7th-Jun-2011 10:16 am
So you are an SCA rapier Warlord/General person, and you have just learned that you will be in command for a battle at Pennsic.

What is the first thing you do? Why?

EDIT: This question was meant to be specifically about prepping for the battle and less about being appointed commander. So, when asking "what's the first step", pretend like you've done it before.
Comments 
7th-Jun-2011 02:18 pm (UTC)
well every time I have found out it was about five or less minutes before the battle started, so perhaps I am not of help to you in this regard.
7th-Jun-2011 02:25 pm (UTC)
Or you might be a good resource. So you've dealt with having to plan a battle last minute. If you had known a month beforehand, what would have been the most valuable thing you could have done right off the bat?
7th-Jun-2011 04:47 pm (UTC)
There are some pretty good answers on here now. Learn the players is a pretty good place to start. Who are the commanders of the various units in your armour, what do they and their gear look like. Then what are their units, and what are the strengths and weaknesses of those units.
7th-Jun-2011 02:32 pm (UTC)
Go to all the previous Warlords and ask them for insight.
7th-Jun-2011 02:33 pm (UTC)
On what?
7th-Jun-2011 03:06 pm (UTC)
Everything -- what their experiences were like, how our troops fight, what the terrain looks like, what personality clashes were had, where there are pitfalls, what they did well and what they didn't, who to go to in a pinch, who to ignore, etc.
7th-Jun-2011 03:12 pm (UTC)
Ah, I should be clearer on the question then.
7th-Jun-2011 04:44 pm (UTC)
First step, answer some questions, get data:
Who are our allies? What are their numbers? What are our numbers? What's the win condition? Do our allies have a plan or am I in overall command? What's the terrain/field setup?

From there: derive the most efficient strategy for achieving the win condition/our objective as dictated by our ally, communicate it to the army clearly, and execute.
7th-Jun-2011 04:59 pm (UTC)
Very good. But, you jumped off of the "first thing" idea pretty quickly. Also, you didn't address "why".
7th-Jun-2011 11:32 pm (UTC)
Why answer questions and get data:
While some information will never be available, failing to take simple measures to gather what information is available guarantees forming an incomplete plan and giving insufficient orders.
7th-Jun-2011 10:54 pm (UTC)
First step: Make a plan for winning.

This includes developing all the requisite background knowledge: What's the battlefield going to look like? What are the victory conditions? No, seriously what are the damned victory conditions? Who's on my side-- I mean, do I have ? Who's commanding them right now? What are we up against? Not just numbers, but units-- 30 Atlantians from Southern Cross is a different tool than 30 AEthelmaercians from Debatable Lands: neither one is inherently better than the other, they're just different tools (yes, we're ALL tools!) and they need to be put to different uses.

This first step ALSO includes (even WHILE gathering intel) developing several possible plans for winning, and selecting from these the one that (a) has the best chance to work and (b) will be fun for your guys (yes, that IS important-- in terms of long-term planning, crushing the enemy without having fun loses you guys in the long run!) Note that I don't care about the enemy having fun: that's their general's job, and I have my hands full enough, thanks...

This planning may include doing things that will change the answers to those questions-- if I can get some more of my guys to turn out, I'll do it! If I can make adjustments through training for what things my units are ready to do (changing the function of my tools), I'll do that, too. This is, I think, part of the first step...
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