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Military Strength of Tamrielic Provinces

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OK guys... After going through oblivion and skyrim these past months, there is something that still bugs me quite a lot: 'Size of Tamriel and Size of Armies. We are given a little information regarding these questions except for example, between Red Mountain and Mournhold there are 250 miles or the Uriel V(?) had 4 Legions in Akavir and 2 as Reinforcements...
Nontheless, I would hear your thoughts as well. Especially regarding the sizes of the armies of Tamriel. Were Provincial Armies made smaller during the Third Era? How similar is the Imperial Legion to its real life counterpart, the Roman Army? Auxiliaries? Magical Support? etc.

Looking forward to your answers people!!!

Kinlord Telewynn of Larelleis
Posted Sun at 05:28 pm · OP
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https://www.imperial-library.info/content/military-deployment-across-auridon
I imagine relatively similar deployment across Tamriel. Maybe more in various regions with heavy military presence/culture/past conflicts.

https://www.imperial-library.info/content/blackwater-war-volume-2
Thousands died in the Blackwater War in Argonia. This was the 4th Legion.
In 1E 2816, six cohorts remained.
In 1E 2820, 3-250 soldiers remained.


Besides that, utterly no clue. We're basically given who beat who and gotta use that to try and determine military strength. Honestly, it's like power levels.

Hammerfell can beat AD on their own turf. (mostly)

Summerset is invincible unless you can get a giant nihilistic robot powered by a nordic soul to break some skulls.

Second Empire was big enough to kick High Rock, Skyrim, Hammerfell's collective asses with room for seconds in the form of Black Marsh, Valenwood, and then finally room for thirds in the form of Morrowind (kinda sorta not really).

Nords conquered the North during the First Empire of the Nords. 500 dudes also killed an entire civilization as well, apparently, with Ysgramor and the Companions. Embellished, possibly, but metaphor is often literal in TES.

To be honest, the only actual thing I can think of, in terms of provincial armies, was during start of the third era with the Syffim. Versidue-Shaie told provincial armies to fuck right off and had his buddy Dinieras-Ves make the only "standing army." Really stupid move.



I'd imagine that because of the cyclic nature of souls, there are generally the same amount of people alive at most given times, but that's more theoretical.
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Posted Sun at 07:26 pm · Last edited Sun at 20:42
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We do have a few references in ESO to a "Mane's Legion" within Elsweyr. Sadly there is very little in the way of detail, but we do know they existed before Elsweyr joined the Dominion and thus is not simply a fancy name for a Dominion military unit. We also know they were used to try and quell riots, maintain order, and distribute treatments at the height of the Knahaten Flu in Elsweyr. We also know that the Speaker of the Mane can take command of the Mane's Legion as a whole. Whether that means they are the default commander-in-chief or if they can simply be a stand-in for the Mane's own will is unknown. But at the very least, we know they are a thing, apparently, in the 2nd Era. Whether they are a newly-formed unit specifically to keep order during the Flu or an older form of service to the Mane, survive into later eras or are just a short-time phenomenon, maintain an active standing force or are a more militia-like entity, act as elite units or are more standard in capability - none of that is truly known (much to my annoyance).
@DerAlleinTiger - Guild Lead of Reaper's Rest
Posted Sun at 08:55 pm · Last edited Sun at 20:55
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How reliable is the military deployment report though? Obviously there would be many thousands of civilians but yes, the altmer seem to favour battalions and regiments as their eminent units.

Now depending on how similar the legion is to its 'real life' counterpart, then the 4TH had anywhere between 2.800 and 3200 troops, assuming all cohorts were at full strength and by 2820, they had less than a cohort unit.

Everything else... I cannot say. True. Hammerfell somehow beats the Dominion to a standstill but Tiber needs Numidium to conquer the Dominion. The Empire (and the awesome Dunmer!) managed to fight a war for 80 years and though we aren't told their losses one can imagine the total loss to their power base.
The Companions have always been something of a complicated matter. Perhaps the 500, were 'merely' Captains in their own right, with companies of atmorans beneath them. Then there's the whole fuck up 'Azhidal enchanted their weapons etc.', which to me makes no sense: 'so wait they get enchantments but the Falmer dont? Yeah right...'

Going to back to the Empire, we are given information on the failed invasion of akavir:

"The Fifth, Seventh, Tenth, and Fourteenth Legions were selected for the initial landing, with the Ninth and Seventeenth to follow as reinforcements once the beachhead was secured. While this may seem to the layman a relatively small fraction of the Army's total manpower"
Assuming we use Legionnaire Numbers only (5.120) or Legion plus Auxiliaries (6.400), the Empire had anywhere between 30.720 to 38.400 (7.680 of which are auxiliaries) as a deployment force, it was still considered a "small fraction of the Army's total manpower"...

I can't remember any more examples at this moment though.
Question: Do you think the Third Era Empire only allowed the Provinces to field a Citizen-Army? Ban its Armies and Navies? Or allowed them to retain a small measure of military power?
i]
Posted Mon at 03:58 am · OP
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I join you in that annoyance. The Mane's Legion it would seem to me seems to function as a sort of military police. Serving both in law enforcement and as one of the Elite Units that Elsewyr can relly on in times of war and crisis
Posted Mon at 04:03 am · OP
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wrote:
How reliable is the military deployment report though? Obviously there would be many thousands of civilians but yes, the altmer seem to favour battalions and regiments as their eminent units.

Now depending on how similar the legion is to its 'real life' counterpart, then the 4TH had anywhere between 2.800 and 3200 troops, assuming all cohorts were at full strength and by 2820, they had less than a cohort unit.

Everything else... I cannot say. True. Hammerfell somehow beats the Dominion to a standstill but Tiber needs Numidium to conquer the Dominion. The Empire (and the awesome Dunmer!) managed to fight a war for 80 years and though we aren't told their losses one can imagine the total loss to their power base.
The Companions have always been something of a complicated matter. Perhaps the 500, were 'merely' Captains in their own right, with companies of atmorans beneath them. Then there's the whole fuck up 'Azhidal enchanted their weapons etc.', which to me makes no sense: 'so wait they get enchantments but the Falmer dont? Yeah right...'

Going to back to the Empire, we are given information on the failed invasion of akavir:

"The Fifth, Seventh, Tenth, and Fourteenth Legions were selected for the initial landing, with the Ninth and Seventeenth to follow as reinforcements once the beachhead was secured. While this may seem to the layman a relatively small fraction of the Army's total manpower"
Assuming we use Legionnaire Numbers only (5.120) or Legion plus Auxiliaries (6.400), the Empire had anywhere between 30.720 to 38.400 (7.680 of which are auxiliaries) as a deployment force, it was still considered a "small fraction of the Army's total manpower"...

I can't remember any more examples at this moment though.
Question: Do you think the Third Era Empire only allowed the Provinces to field a Citizen-Army? Ban its Armies and Navies? Or allowed them to retain a small measure of military power?
i]
I think it would be hard for the Empire to ban any provincial armies because I don't believe there truly are any real provincial armies. For example, the closest thing Morrowind has to a standing army is the entirety of Great House Redoran, and that is less an army and simply a martial Great House. I think the Empire would have a hard time getting Morrowind to abolish an entire Great House, especially one that is so... shall we say persuasive, given it has the strength to back up its words. In High Rock, there are so many little separate kingdoms, baronies, counties, and so on that all likely have their own separate local guard detachments and forces. Even in ESO's time, where it is arguably most united under Emeric for the sake of a large-scale war, the closest thing to a single united army is the Lion Guard and Covenant Army - the latter being more of a force of allied armies than a provincial one and the former an elite unit of the latter!

The Argonians, Khajiit, Orsimer, and Bosmer are all in a similar state of largely relying on local militias, clan/tribal warriors, and guard forces to begin with.

Hammerfell... I genuinely do not know. They do have a very strong warrior tradition, but also do not appear to have any single provincial military force even in ESO (again, outside of the Covenant military) Skyrim we know is largely a bunch of local guard forces, but then Skyrim also has a very strong tie with Cyrodiil and the 3rd Empire to start with so they'd be the most likely to give in and allow the Legions to be the primary military force anyhow. The Altmer may be the real outliers here, and I do not know enough to state anything definitive. They might have maintained a strong army and and least marine forces simply because the Isles are generally shown to be much farther from the mainland than ESO's map implies and you can't exactly march an army over a sea very quickly if they found themselves in need of military aid or reinforcements.

So I guess the real question is, just what provincial militaries are there to ban? And if there are any to ban, is it because they are banned or just weren't a thing in the first place? ESO would perhaps give us the answer of "Probably the latter" for the second question.
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Posted Mon at 04:21 am · Last edited Mon at 4:22
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Forgive my wording, by provincial armies, I mean several things: For Morrowind, I completely agree with you said. Though the Great Houses have their own forces or so it would seem, Redoran likely serves as the closest thing to a Military that Morrowind has. But I wonder if the Empire would have restricted the number of professional soldiers that they can field.
It would seem that Hammerfell, Valenwood and Skyrim have no official standing armies, save for elite mercenary groups and some regiments, along with a citizen-militia.
The Breton Kingdoms have their own armies, but I don't suppose that the Empire would allow them to be at their full strength. The Altmer do rely on both a professional military of altmer from the warrior caste and a militia army. But in 3E, it is mentioned in the Firsthold Revolt that King Karoodil only had a couple dozen of battlemages but his army was entirely a citizen militia. Which makes me wonder, if the Empire only allowed them to have a few hundred professional soldiers per Kinhold and then forcing them to have a citizen militia as an army

I imagine then, that in the Third Era, I doubt that the Empire's Vassals were allowed to have as many troops as they did before the Septim Era
Posted Mon at 08:40 am · OP
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