Being in Command


Just a question, how do you become a general or commander?


Generals are appointed by unanimous decision of the senators of their nation. Each Imperial nation has between one and four armies, and there is one general per army. Each army’s general is appointed during a particular season (or when a vacancy arises).

In Empire, general is used specifically for the commander of a downtime army, not necessarily leading warriors on the field during an event. A field marshal is chosen for a particular (uptime) battle by the military council.


If you are still joining Urizen- usually the General of the Citadel Guard will act as our battlefield commander, unless they’re acting as Field Marshal for the whole Imperial force. In that circumstance the Adjutant of the Citadel Guard will usually lead the Urizen contingent. Each Spire /Citadel/Temple will usually have a Battle Captain to lead it’s members in the field. There is also the Ensign (appointed by the General), who organises and deploys (and sometimes leads) groups for skirmishes (smaller battles). Good places to start on a path to command can be joining a group and assisting the Battle Captain, or offering to assist the Ensign. If your character’s Ambitions include military command, it’s a good idea to mention this to the Egregores when you speak to them at your first event, they can help point you at the right people.


I recommend getting to know the warriors you will fight with any of the officers. There is a military council which is held where they discuss upcoming battles and such. This can be a good place to make contacts. I think you need to show that you are capable. This means doing well in combat and planning but also following orders. Have courage when talking to people, sometimes having the gumption to ask will give you a better opportunity then people who don’t.


As you can tell, it rather depends on whether or not you want command “on-stage” or off it…

The Generals will be controlling the armies of the Empire, discussing them in military council, and co-ordinating them in downtime.

The group commanders, national commanders, and field marshal (titles may vary by nation) will be respectively commanding (a small group within a nations forces, most if not all of a nations forces, and the entire deployed army) during the game, on the battlefield.

Finding someone to “apprentice” to is a good idea if you’d like a look at that. An aide to a general, a second to a group commander, standing at their shoulder, running messages, seeing how its done… can get you known, and offered command.


Another thing to remember is that during a battle, some larpers get carried away. This means that when your commanding officer gives orders, they may not always follow them, though this can also be because they simply haven’t heard. If you can help the person in charge to wrangle everyone, that can gain you some recognition. If it is in your character nature, you can go and speak to the people you fought with, after the battle. This should help you a bit more with making contacts.


It should also be noted that legally, everyone on the battle is a civilian volunteer with NO OBLIGATION WHATSOEVER to follow orders. The Field Marshal is given responsibility, but has no legal power to enforce their orders.

Usually, people will listen to their preferred captain, who will be listening to Generals, who will be listening to the Field Marshall. But legally people are perfectly free to say “No General Bob, that’s stupid, we like Alice’s idea better, we’re going to do that.”


Ah okay. I’ve only ever fought as a barbarian orc which was very much ‘follow orders and don’t chase the humans down and just kill them because that isn’t fun for them’. It still might be useful however if a group of people are running head long into certain death without realising it and their captain has told them not to do that.


One thing I’ve said a few times, following orders is great fun if you want to follow orders- sometimes your allies need a chance to retreat so your orders are to flank around. It’s also fun to get stuck in without listening to orders- you see some people down on the ground and you have the people, you can smash through and save them.

Just make sure that you do things if you get on the battlefield- nobody likes people who take the battlefield and don’t do anything. You can actually be charged with a crime if you go through the Sentinel Gate and show conspicuous cowardice.


Most nations have their own way of doing things but a generalship is a political appointment. Senators appoint generals.

Should also be pointed out as @Corinthus said, a generalship and battlefield leadership are two different things, you could be a general who doesn’t fight in up time, it’s not a requirement


Hey there. There have been some good posts already about the mechanics of how a character can be elected as a general, as well as some of the other leadership posts you could shoot for. So for a slightly different interpretation of the question I thought I’d offer some advice on how a person goes about making that happen. It is absolutely not a ‘one true way’, but maybe some of it will help you. In particular, a lot of my advice is about becoming an Imperial general (I’m currently playing one, and the character is now serving his fifth term). Sorry that this might be a bit long!

So as has been said, the official post of ‘general’ is appointed by the senators of your nation. How they make that decision is extremely variable (and can change overnight if a different senator is appointed). And you should also bear in mind that the majority of senators do not take the battlefield (most do not have time) and they are explicitly banned from entering the Military Council tent during official meetings. Thus they often rely on other people’s advice and the ‘mood of the nation’. If you can win over a lot of the influential people in your nation and get them to speak for you, that goes a long way.

Next thing to remember is that generals are elected first thing on the friday of an event and then serve for one year (or until death - many generals are KIA). Until that general is appointed the army has no general (the incumbent is automatically stood down at time in) and thus no-one can go to Military Council and speak for that army. This can potentially mean your nation has less of a voice in the MC (or none at all), which could be disastrous. Therefore a lot of senators like to have their preferred candidates lined up the event before. In the League, for example, several senators will interview known candidates the event before and have made their choices. Trying to persuade them on the day is seen as being a sign of being disorganised or not motivated enough.

Now, how do you persuade people you are any good? General is one of the most hotly contested titles in the game, and in some nations there are a glut of good candidates - or at least, candidates who are good at blagging they know their stuff. Some nations are so short of good candidates you could use ‘I have my own notebook and promise to go to the meetings’ as a successful pitch. If you were desperate to play a general in the game, you would do well to think about this before deciding which nation to play in, unless you are so red hot that you can blow competition away.

Broadly, you could divide the role of a general into two parts: strategy and leadership. The first is your official role: as a general you have command of one army and decide its orders. More importantly, you have a voice in Military Council where overall strategy for the Empire is discussed. One army by itself gets sod all done, but if you can persuade the majority of generals to go along with your schemes you can have a huge impact (good or bad). Charisma is important, as is a grasp of how the game works. If you want to be a general, I cannot advise enough that you should familiarise yourself with the pages on War on the wiki. Otherwise you will be limited in what you can achieve, and it’s much harder to persuade savvy senators to back you. At a bare minimum, learn how armies move, how they take or defend territory and how casualties/resupply work.

Officially, generals do not lead on the battlefield in uptime. However, in practice they often do, or they appoint the commanders, because members of the MC have access to the information needed to make plans. Before I became a general I used to lead my nation on the field, but wasn’t allowed into MC meetings (my predecessor didn’t want rivals). That made it a hard job. However, as a tip for getting elected, if you can overcome that kind of obstacle, it will stand you in good stead.

However, there are loads of ways to get involved in battlefield leadership if you look for them. There are loads of skirmishes every event and relatively few generals go on most of them - they normally delegate to experienced officers. Commanding on skirmishes is a great way to build a reputation and experience. My warning there is that if you aren’t any good, it will be obvious very fast. Skirmishes can be very unforgiving and often have high casualty rates. They are basically a gamble where you can make or break your rep in an hour. Even if you don’t lead one, skirmishes are also a great network with other fighters - you’ll see each other in action and build bonds.

Also, in many nations, generals are overworked and can use assistance. This is a bit tricky, as you have to time it right - there are plenty of moments when I am busy, but it is a job I can’t delegate, so someone showing up and saying ‘gis a job’ is just frustrating. But if you introduce yourself early, tell the generals what you can do and what you want to do, then make it very clear how they can get messages to you if they need you, they can often find a role.

I’ve rambled a bit, so to wrap things up my last point is that generals are also politicians. If you are thinking of going for it, take the time to learn where people stand, what the rivalries are etc. We do occasionally get people turning up and proclaiming something they think is obvious, but the entire MC disagrees with. That makes them look daft and costs them political capital. Similarly, you aren’t going to get your senators to vote for you if you argue for a position they all hate, even if it is tactically brilliant.


This. I am not nor have I ever been a general. I have attended/crewed a player event (run by TimB and others) which was entirely focused on teaching army/downtime level strategy. There are a lot of numbers - the top-level military campaign in Empire is one big table-top wargame. If you want to be an effective general on the strategic side you need to understand this game and how it works, or have someone you trust who can do it for you and brief you appropriately.