Bog's World

Altogether elsewhere

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Dog Soldiers

So called because historically, they were treated ‘worse than dogs’ by their Djanne masters; They tended to be groups of men, pressed or volunteers, banded together and armed and equipped with whatever came to hand. This equipment tended to pretty basic as the idea was to arm as many men as possible, rather than arm some of them with any thought to quality. They were employed as a mob, in a tight formation, with Djanne leaders amongst them to provide some stiffening and direction. They either stood their ground when used defensively, or moved forward at slow walk until they were close enough for an inexorable human wave type rush.

Many thousands of men were employed this way as the campaigns ebbed and flowed. The Dog Soldiers dug pitches, built berms, hauled logs and did most of the menial works associated with keeping an army in the field. Their military training was confined to staying together as a group.

Mobs were employed in the war with Nyrond and Uleck and later in the campaigns in Celene and the Pomarj. The survivors of the initial battles in which they were employed swiftly learned to supplement their meagre arms and other assets from the flotsam and jetsam of the battlefield. They were not required to arm them selves with missile weapons at any point, and so their acquisitions tended to be the arms and armour of the fallen. This gave a band of dog soldiers a random hodge-podge appearance.

As campaigns went on some mobs were more successful than others. A small minority actually became quite proficient at warfighting, despite superficially appearing to be the same as newer or less militarily competent mobs. The tactics of the average mob didn’t evolve and eventually the mobs that ‘turned professional’ would standardise their arms and equipment and formalise their internal structure, becoming regular military units. At this point of course they were no long a mob of dog soldiers. Less than one percent of those who fought in the PWOC chose the life of a soldier when they were released from service. Most returned to their farms and other lives.

The life of a dog soldier is still one possible route to wealth and occasional mobs are encountered in the less stable parts of the empire. For the Lyio who raises/sponsors a mob, dog soldiers represent excellent value for money and unlike more professional warrior classes, they can be used for things other than strictly military purposes. In the modern empyre, a pressed mob is only likely to be found in the out lying or border lands, where lawlessness and border incursions make keeping an effective militia a necessity.

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