Andorran Guard (Brainstorm Development)

These are brainstorm notes I have made concerning Roberto's plan for the Andorran Guard, having been made Deputy Marshal in Fall of 1236
The notes are incomplete. The ones towards the top are the latest, towards the bottom are scraps. I need to edit and think and edit and write and edit some more. But in raw form, this is what I have come up with...

Plan for the Reorganization and Expansion of the Andorran Guard
Autumn 1236
(A defense and security plan devised by Roberto of Flambeau)

Objective & Purpose
[tab][/tab]The Andorran Guard is intended to serve as a security force for the defense and protection of the covenant; it’s properties, assets, members, interests, and other aspects.

[tab][/tab]The Andorran Guard shall be organized as a military Company of three Divisions of varying size, united under a single command. The Divisions are as follow:

  • Gold Griffons: (40) The Gold Griffons are mercenaries staffed by the Vibria Company out of Barcelona. They are led by a Commander assisted by two Lieutenant Commanders. Each officer leads a team of about a dozen; including themselves and a sergeant. The primary duty of the Gold Griffons is the defense and security of the keep in Arans. Additional duties include supplementing personal security and augmenting expedition strength. The Commander has a handful of minor Staff Officers.
  • Red Drakes (40) The Red Drakes are descended from the old guard and led by the remaining veterans. All are directly loyal to &/or employed by the covenant &/or its magi. The are commanded directly by the Captain, who is also in charge of the other Divisions, so much is delegated to his Lieutenants. There are four Lieutenants, one assisting the Captain directly and each of the other three commanding a Platoon of eight to ten; which includes themselves, a Sergeant, two Corporals, and four others. Each Platoon can be detatched as two or three Lances (Squads) of three to five. The Captain himself has direct command over about a dozen Warrant Officers and Staff Officers.
  • Blue Marids: (10) The Blue Marids consist of the most exceptional and extraordinary Andorra has to offer. They are organized as only a single Platoon led by a Lieutenant and Sergeant, with all others ranking as Corporal.

Armado: Leadership 5+2 (team unity)

The largest in number are the Gold Griffons, mercenaries numbering about three dozen. They provide for the defense of the covenant and extra security on expeditions. The Red Drakes number around thirty, and provide personal protection to the magi and their properties. The Blue Marids (aka “Blue Devils”) consist of a dozen extraordinary individuals that serve as the covenant’s elite special forces unit.
[tab][/tab]The Gold Griffons have their own chain of command and a Commander that answers directly to the Captain. The Red Drakes and Blue Marids are employed directly by the covenant and led by turb officer, who answer directly to the Captain.


[tab][/tab]The numbers are not exaggerated, and if anything, the covenant could use more. Still, the numbers (around 85 as a combined total), should be sufficient to serve the covenant’s minimum needs, and are within the covenant’s ability to logistically support as they are to be deployed.

Chain of Command
[tab][/tab]The Andorran Guard serves the Magi of the Council of Andorra Covenant. Responsibility for management and leadership belongs to a Master holding the Office of Marshal. Currently, the burden falls upon the Warden who has delegated a Deputy Marshal. In times of crisis, a Pontifex may take direct control over the Andorran Guard.
[tab][/tab]As for the Guard themselves, the are commanded by a core of officers that answer to a Captain, who answers to the magi and the Marshall/deputy Marshal [list]
Captain Armand: Overall commanding officer, answering directly to the Marshal/Deputy Marshal.
Commander Gomez Adams: Leader of the Gold Griffons; with his own separate system of internal organization & subordinate officers.
Lieutenant Alberto Cortes: Commander of the Red Drakes;
Lieutenant Javier Padilla: Commander of the Blue Marids, also known as Javier the Haunted because he accompanied by the ghost of Sergeant Roger (posthumous rank)
Lieutenant Oscar Torres: Expedition Specialist, also known as Oscar the Fearless.
Lieutenant Carlos Guerro: Escort Specialist, known for being a back talking wisecracker
Lieutenant Alberto Hernandez: Tactical Specialist

Warrant Officer Fausto: Swordmaster, Teaching & Training Specialist
Warrant Officer Donna: Quartermaster, Weapon Smith Specialist
Warrant Officer Bernat deCaval: Spymaster, Intelligence Specialist
Warrant Officer Epona: Huntmistress, Archer

Carlos Gutierrez, Allen Girard,
Epona the Archer, Selim the Mossleman,

Antoni the Lion of Andorra, Assumpcio the Unassuming, Guy the Fair, Vidal the Calm, Treiste,
Gerard, Liberto,
Petrus de Cunfin, Philippe de Sancerre

Roberto’s Plan for Military Reorganization
[tab][/tab]The goal is to reestablish the Andorran Guard, a band of professional soldiers directly employed by and directly loyal to the Covenant of Andorra. They will be supplemented by mercenaries (the Gold Griffons), and the intent is to have around eighty troops altogether.
[tab][/tab]Bullet Points[list]
[]Continue the contract with the Vibria Company, paying them to staff us with three dozen mercenary soldiers. We are allowed to directly hire individuals, and they get to fill the holes and recruit for us. More on the Gold Griffons, how they fit into the picture and how I imagine they are organized, is detailed below.
]With Xavi gone (busy with politics), Arnau and the Flame Brothers are also gone. As backstory, Arnau and his regiment were called away, our contract with them expired and we didn’t renew, they are on assignment for King James, and/or whatever. They get all the dragon hide armor, that was part of the deal.
[]Doing some research on the wiki, it seems that the Andorran Guard is intact after all. They reorganized, recruited, and used Gold Griffons to augment their numbers to about sixty. Much of the stuff that I am writing here is based on stuff already established then forgotten about. Even still, much of what the wiki says has changed. Alexandro is off adventuring with Estaban. Old Moe has passed on. We have the leftover grogs of old players that can be recruited, and there are player character combatants who would make fine additions.
]There are currently five remaining elite veterans of the Old Guard, who will all be made officers. They are:[list]
Armando the Wise, Javier the Haunted, Oscar the Fearless, Alberto Cortes, and Carlos Guerro
[*]On the subject of recruitment, Roberto will personally invite each of the following to join the Andorran Guard:[list]
Antoni the Lion of Andorra, Assumpcio the Unassuming, Guy the Fair, Vidal the Calm, Treiste
Alberto Hernandez, Allen Girard, Fausto the Swordmaster, Gerard, Liberto,
Bernat the Stutterer, Carlos Gutierrez, Donna the Weapon Smith, Epona the Archer, Selim the Mossleman,
Petrus de Cunfin, Philippe de Sancerre


Reorganization of the Andorran Guard
Autumn 1236
[tab][/tab]The Andorran Guard shall consist of three divisions, altogether including around ?? soldiers. This is the minimum number needed (in Roberto’s opinion) to maintain the keep’s defenses plus protect interests abroad (Sa Dragonera), in addition to providing security to twelve different magi wherever they go. Each division has a different internal structure and different chain of command, all led by a Captain who answers to the Magi. All members are mercenaries and employees, adhering to a military code of conduct and discipline.



How does it work with a shield grog? Are they part of the Andorran Guard? Clearly they have plenty of time when they're not watching their charge. Presumably we don't want them just sitting around doing nothing.

So if it's acceptable for a shield grog to join the Andorran Guard, Petrus will be happy to.

The plan is for a shied grogs to be incorporated into or to come from the Red Drake Division.

So I think its a good idea to consider threats to the covenant when designing defenses. There are a few flavors and sundry ideas. :

  1. Mundane armies: These are simple enough to deal with if you have the right mix of spells. However a uprising number of covenants find themselves unable to. Note that a bow severely out ranges voice. Anyway the simple strategy can serve: nuke it from orbit.The Grogs just need to be able to slow down an army a little.
  2. Mundane Sneaks: These are much bigger problems for magi than armies. A few good archers could kill a magus before he knows he's been attacked. Thus detection should be a top priority. Hermetic Magic has some major weaknesses here so Awareness and Premonitions are top abilities. And enough peeps to watch the walls and such.
  3. Obvious Supernatural Threats: Hopefully the Aegis should keep out the rif-raf. Which means at the covenant will only be facing big tough monsters. A good group can hit hard, against a lone target. Even six light wounds make a big difference. Secondly since these creatures can fly I recommend bows.
  4. Sneaky supernatural threats: This basically means demons, but some others exist. Second Sight is a huge help. Also any method of sweeping areas or rooms for demons is good. Relic or room target might damage.

Great points, enjoying this stuff even just as a reader.
On the mundane army: covenant might need the Grogs for defense of the commoners, evacuation, or logistics. So shouldn't expect to use them to slow a significantly large force. Especially if the covenant doesn't have 100s. And that slowing will incur significant losses. I've GMed a small army attacking a covenant and the covenant was completely out matched by the volume of foes. They thought they could depend on spontaneous and vis stocks to get through and it was a small disaster. Consider too that some battle worthy magi may not be present for whatever reason. Now the earth elementals which might arrive change all that. :slight_smile:
Almost any Form has fantastic capacity to inflict large scale violence. An effect like Crest of the Earth Wave will decimate a unit of warriors, and an item could be crafted to R: Sight D:Conc to repeatedly sweep across an army. If lab time is too precious then outsourcing to a Verdi is an option?
Could the covenant also station a few staff in the town(s) to get an early alert of significant trouble?
An InCo spell modified to Vision in some glasses will allow a grog to detect a sneaking foe very efficiently?

Let us also look at limitations: every grog is worth 2 points of occupants of the covenant, meaning that every 5 soldiers require 2 servants. In addition to what is required for magi and companions. Which means these 85 grogs will require 34 servants, for a total of 119 people, nearly half the population of Arans, to defend the castle in a period when simply providing food for a community required 80% of the population. Realistically we would be starving ourselves to provide for our own defense.

I mean keep them from rock climbing up the wall.

On the food: Magic. Just magic it up. You don't even need vis if you use the spells to force blooming and creo spells to speed growth.

[color=red]I intend for soldiers to do most of their own work. Everyone gets a turn at KP. Not every grog is front line material. The Gryphons take care of their own maintenance. The Maris are special forces and few. The Drakes, the main expense there will be equipment. That is why I want to make Feur's friend Donna a specialist Warrent Officer. Pay the producer directly and reduce our costs.
Food is pentifu in Arans, and shippint to Sa Sragonera is easy. And you guys have the funds by far to pay for a force two or thee times the size.
But we don't need an army. What we need are body guards for the magi, security guards for our properties, and a smal special unit for special interests.
If an actual army comes at us, I'll just set them on fire while Madame Pontifex rains down lighting bolts. That is why I am disregarding cavalry and archers in my initial draft of the plan.

Just as a historical observation, in the 13th century, crossbowmen were the rock stars of general soldiers in castle garrisons. They were paid more than swordsmen as they were considered more important to the defense of a castle. Thus, a typical garrison would certainly include a generous share of crossbowmen.

That having been said, of course this is Mythic Europe, not historic Europe, and so all bets are off. We've got magic that does better even that crossbows. Swordsmen make for a better story than crossbowmen, so clearly they are more important. :slight_smile:

What do you mean by a warrant officer? Donna has recently used the LP system from city and guild to advance to wealthy status- primarily to gain labor points faster, but she could easily cut back maintaining her business to 1 season a year and support the troops...

The thing I'm seeing is there seems to be a lot of expense being handwaved into "this pays for itself" and I'm wondering why something that pays for itself and is providing such an essential and marketable service is still attached to the covenant. It seems to me that we have a lot of free lunches when it comes to our finance and logistics.

The large grog is easy to find, playing a giant assaulted by his children, boys and girls alike rejoicing at their victory over the large grog.
It will be an honor, my friend! No evil shall escape our might!

Relics are just insane. Even if they fail to bar a demon from a place, they relentlessly hack at it, in a very obvious way... And this is automatic!!!
Their only drawback is their limited range.

Aye :frowning:

As far as I can tell, this is a very large garnison to maintain on full-time active duty :frowning:

Which means that we need to find a way to house and feed them all! :smiley: Yeah, more development! :smiley:
Weren't we supposed to have a mercurian with the Beautiful Feast joining us? QPaC also talked about herbam magics, and sure, but we need to have them, not handwave them.

Cecilio at the very least can conjure a large amount of fruit with the right vis. 1000 cubic paces! All of which are sliced, dried and sweetened bananas. So if we want to burn vis we'll be okay.

especially if we hire Minions. That's a lot of bananas.

With such a small cmpany, I do not think we have to worry abut food or expenses.

A Warrent Officer is above Sergeant but below Lieutenant. It is a title given to specialists. I am trying to use era appropriate terminology. The modern system of military rank is evolved from the culture of medieval mercenary companies, not Rome or Feudal titles. The term Warrent Officer is English. Comissioned Officers, Lieutenants and Captains, riecieved their commission straight from the crown or noble or ther client that hired them. In the early modern period, nobles start takimg officer titles. But not yet.
Non Commissioned officers (NCOs), Sergeants and Corporals, recieve their title due to seniority and experience.
Warrent Officers are in between. Commoners too important to be enisted men, given a "warrent" to practice their trade on behalf of the powers that be.
Roberto himself was an Almogaver mercenary in his youth before becoming a magus (his parens was a code violator and ran a company). He has experience with the French and Norman systems. His Mentor Santiago resides in England, and he would have drawn ideas from there.

It isa very small company that I imagine. Two dozen to garrison the keep is minimal. Two bodyguards times twelve magi equals another two dozen. In order to have reserves for expeditions and special missions, I figure another two dozen. Then add the servants and teamsters, call them military also, and we hit a number arounnd 80.
Which is not far off from what we have had for the past several years. This is not an army and not intended for field combat. gurilla warfare if anything. the force has three intended purposes...
1 Body Guards
2 Security Guards
3 Special Forces

You currently have 85 grogs listed, which requires 17 servants and 10 teamsters just for the grogs
which when all expenses are totaled, means 112 pounds per year in costs to support these troops, 56 pounds of silver being the provisioning costs.

A typical income for a covenant is 100 lbs of silver a year, and this is what you think we can handwave and just not worry about?

Sorry, those numbers are for a spring covenant, we are summer or fall, which means the grogs need 34 servants and 23 teamsters for support, and the entire cost is 284 lbs of silver a year, with 142 lbs of silver being for provisions.

For general information, here's the data from the wiki regarding our income and expenses. I'm not certain how up-to-date they are.


Mercere House: The Inhabitants and other expenses of the Mercere House are figured into the costs and expenditures of the covenant. However, they contribute to Rents, in addition to other fees, providing both a portion of Income. The Mercere House keeps a separate ledger for its own money and vis.

[size=120]Total Gross Income (before expenditure):[/size]

1200£/year (three souces of income (additional times two) and Wealthy (Major)

[size=120]Noteworthy Expenditures or Cost Savings:[/size]

Expenditures: 761£ (39£ Buildings, 60£ Consumables, 41£ Laboratories, 150£ Provisions, 90£ Wages (3£ per ten point for good pay with pension), 3£ Armaments, 15£ Writing Materials, & 2£ Tips & Pound of Enumerus)
• 300 points of Inhabitants (110 for eleven magi, 15 for companions, 64 for soldiers, 32 for other covenfolk, 29 for animals of various sorts, 50 for servants and teamsters)
• 410 points of Laboratories
• 960 points of Weapons &Armor (32 soldiers with standard partial armor, 20 have standard armaments and 12 have expensive armaments; plus five pieces of artillery and lotss of miscellaneous extra armaments)

Cost Savings: -100£ (-24£ Laborers, -76£ Magic)

Total Expenditure: 300£
Total Net Income (after expenditure): 900 £/year
Sources of Income: Vinyards, Agriculture, Rents, Silver Mining, Investments & Banking

We also show there are 14 magi, and list 85 soldiers, so the numbers don't quite match up. For a summer/autumn covenant a magus is 10 points of inhabitants, requiring 2 servants per magus, each of those at 2 points of inhabitants, and that total of 14 mages and 28 servants (196 points) requires 19 teamsters at another 2 points apiece.
So magi and required staff are 234 points of inhabitants, grogs and their required staff are 224 points for the 85 we have listed, that right there is 458 points of inhabitants, so it looks like the posted calculations are either out of date or based on the assumption that Andorra is still a spring covenant.
Also what magic is being used for cost savings?

I must agree with Silveroak.

Also, actually giving us the ways to do this enhances the covenant, makes it feel more "real", which I think is a good thing.
We can't rely on Cecilio conjuring food, as this'd spoil and require too many rituals, but if we can, say, loan a part of these guards part of the year as a mercenary company, maybe they can pay for their own costs, or alleviate them, I dunno

And the fact is you don't need to have a large enough company to defend the castle in three shifts. Most of the time you only need a watch, and reserve men (which should honestly be bowmen or crossbowmen since we are defending from the top of a wall), and in terms of invading armies I'm not sure how accessible Arans is to a large army, in addition to which we might be able to call upon other mundane forces if we really needed to since this is part of their territory being invaded.
Oh, and we have several flambeaus that could flambe an invading army with a word.
Shield grogs should probably be part of the reserve, not separate from it, since it is highly unlikely that all the mages will be gone at the same time.