Tips on League combat

Hey all, green as spring newbie here. I’ve spent a solid amout of time brainstorming my first Empire character and I’ve hit somewhat of a roadblock. I haven’t been able to find too many accounts on how the League fights in battles, I know my character is going to prefer using a sword but I dont know how much that will fit with the nations tactics. If any of you have any tips or information on this I’d really appreciate to hear from you!

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Hello, and welcome to the game and the forums!

I’m not an expert, having only fought against the League (monstering), but…

The League on the battlefield fights in three styles:
Sword and buckler: lightly armoured skirmishers, duellists and wolf-pack-tactics.
Polearm or great weapon: solid blocks, often heavily armoured, in pike blocks with greatswords holding their flanks.
Crossbow troops: acting as close fire support for either of the two above, scattered through the line.

This means that as their opponent, you have the choice of walking into a wall of pikes, or trying to catch and fight those duellists on your terms… and while you’re trying to make up your mind, you get a quarrel in the gut.

The League are not too fast, or too hard-hitting, but they are very flexible, and able to adapt to most situations.

Except ambush. Their camoflage is pretty lousy.

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As a League Bravo, this is accurate. Nations like Dawn and Highguard will have plate armour and big shields, but we’re more likely to be working alongside other nations than making up big blocks of one type of fighter. We have a lot of mercenaries in our nation (in fact, we’re the only nation where mercenaries are a normal career path) and so we can tend to have some specialised groups who train together.

My advice is to work on your cardio; a duellist lives or dies by their ability to get out of trouble. I love running in to kill someone and then outrunning their friends because they’re burdened with armour. Okay, I also fight rapier and dagger (+5 to sex appeal, -10 to survival chances) because the League does nothing by halves. And join a group if you can, train with them at the event, know that they have your back.

The one thing that sets us apart, in my mind (and ask 10 Bravos, get 10 different opinions) is that we don’t overextend as often as some nations. We have a job to do, we do it efficiently and with panache, but we know our limits. We respect the enemy and we respect our allies. We don’t need to be the last warriors in the fight like Dawn, we don’t charge past the shield wall without fear like Wintermark, we don’t try to sneak through the woods like Navarr.

That’s not to say we’re not brave; I have been there when half a dozen lightly-armoured Bravos broke a line of orcs to rescues a fallen soldier and I have watched a line of League polearms hold back a charge which might have broken the Empire shield wall. And we know that doing something for coin is no sin, but that a contract is a sacred bond which demands utmost discipline. And that extends even to those not being paid.

But when you get out there, be proud, be loud, be colourful. Above all though, come home.


Hey, and welcome. I play one of the League generals and am always excited to hear we might get new bravos. :slight_smile: Plus this is basically my favourite topic in the world.

First thing to be aware of is that our unit is small - the smallest in the game. Although the League as a whole is a moderate-size nation for player numbers, more than half our fighters hire out as mercenaries. Thus the national block is about the same size as some individual units. Weirdly, some folks think this is a bad thing, whereas I love it.

Because we aren’t big, we can’t afford to be stupid, and we have the capacity to be extremely maneuverable. Each event we try to run a short training session for the national unit. This doesn’t focus on individual skills like how to stick a pointy thing in a barbarian, so much as on how to move together and what the commands are that we use as a unit. We will practice wheeling, inclines, moving through awkward terrain etc. The focus is on the idea that a cohesive unit can react much faster; if I
give an order and you all start moving in three seconds then we can get from A to B faster than a unit who sprinted, but took three minutes to understand the instructions and start moving. So although our training isn’t ‘sexy’, it makes the unit extremely good.

We also feel very strongly about fighting fair. We feel very strongly that we shouldn’t do it. If we are attacking someone from the front it either means we had no choice at all, or we’ve seen someone else about to hit them from the flank and want to distract them. Much more often our strength is using the maneuvering skill I mentioned before to constantly hit enemies from behind or the flank, crush them, then move on. Big, face to face line fights don’t suit us at all, as we simply don’t have the numbers to make them sensible.

My advice is to show up and say hi on the Friday, especially to the national training. A lot of us will be rusty after the long break, so I hope it’ll be well attended. Then when we do fight we’ll try to give you some folks to buddy with. Fighting with a sword isn’t a problem at all - just try to follow the way the rest of us fight and we’ll have you cutting through barbarians like a chainsaw soon enough.


I mean I’ve yet to fight as league but I’ve fought alongside them. There’s definitely a feel that their efforts are also to give them more prestige. Also dying in battle doesn’t help anyone. Leave that to dawn. Don’t be too risky, but take opportunities or make them. And also look after your fellows. As self preservation is one thing. Abandoning an ally is another thing entirely. Also has the consequence of being branded a coward ruining your rep. In summary. They fight like they live. Everything is political about about furthering your position, calculate your risks before acting and but don’t avoid a good fight to help your fellow Imperials and it comes with the side bonus of more cred. Treat battle like a strategy game or a political move. Cover yourself and minimise risk, but always look for opportunities to help and make yourself look good. But you are still a citizen of the empire, so sometimes you need to risk yourself to help retrieve wounded or capture important positions.

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Sorry bit long, but hope it helped. League are also famous for their free companies. Essentially mercenary guilds. But above all. Honour your debts. Follow the rules of your agreements be it in business or “hold this position”. And loyalty is everything. Who/what ever you’re loyal to, that comes before anything. Even your life if need be. Eg your guild. Dying to save your guild master is fitting. Even if it meant you’d move up the ranks with their death

As for you specifically, a sword on its own is great for duels if you’re trained. If not. Shield makes everything easier. Block arrows, parry attack leaving them open for you to slice, get an ally with a pike or spear behind you can you can protect them while they jab anyone trying to fight you. I myself used longsword then switched to one handing it with a shield and became really easy to protect and hold ground. Medics, archers, Mages ect appreciate/need the protection. Plus it comes with the bonus of they owe you now :wink:

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First up, welcome. I’ve been with the league and fighting in the national block for three or four seasons now having been in Wintermark for a long time previous to that.
Being in the league for combat is really quite fun. We are small enough that everyone usually has some idea what’s going on. We tend to be used, where possible as a mobile reserve. We can do a variety of tasks, but generally try to avoid protracted engagements unless necessary, however, we do what we are asked even when it doesn’t suit us. As Tim indicated earlier, or small size and relative maneuverability means that we can often find a flank or a weak point to press. And it is important to remember that movement and position are often more important than how adeptly you swing a sword.
Fighting with a buckler and sword is useful as you can offer enough threat to keep enemies off an exposed flank whilst having some limited protection from a buckler.
I think in summary is say we fight as much by appreciating and adapting to offer threat as we do by getting stick in for much of the time.


Afternoon. One of the League Free Companies here. Most of the free companies fight out with other nations for reason or such. My unit (The Holsburg Houdagen) Primarily fight with a halberds and heavy armour. We also hire on skirmishers and archers to protect and flank as we hold the front. I believe the sea wolves fight as a small well organized mixed arms unit. The Bastards are a trio of greatsword armed nutters. Honestly look at getting a buckler (a small shield the size of a dinner plate, cost about £15/£20, doesn’t need character points and look awesome). And just give it ago. You can happily run about what the duelists and skirmishers harrying around the the bigger blocks. Your also welcome to come and have a drink in our camp and play some dice.

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Thanks! Yeah I’d assume that due to League style ambush might not end well lol

Good to hear from a general, your answer helped clear a lot up. I look forward to bolstering the League ranks even a little bit.

Thanks, Ive been leaning on sword and shield since I have experience with it but I might have to pick up a polearm eventually should it be needed

I had planned on getting a buckler so its good to hear it’ll look and work fittingly. And I’ll definetly have to take you up on that drink offer when I’m able to come. Thank you.


The League are loyal to a fault in my mind. Even when a mercenary company is a bunch of complete bastards, they are your bunch of complete bastards and they have your back because you’re Imperial, doubly-so if you’re paying them. I’ve heard many people moan about the idea of paying League mercenaries, but I’ve never heard anyone regret it later. Not saying it doesn’t happen, just that they don’t seem to do it in front of heavily-armed mercenaries.

For what it’s worth, I play a front-line medic from the Giants of Sarvos. Most of us are healers of one sort or another, but we’re also capable fighters. Despite being a doctor, I make sure I’ve got 3-4 blades on me and try to avoid being unarmed if I can help it.

And one point which the wiki does mention, but which needs mentioning; armour as a fashion-statement is peak League. One massive pauldron, a big floppy hat (not a tricorn) and no real armour is perfectly normal. Don’t compromise your own safety, but there’s a certain joy in not always being the most… optimised… in terms of gear choices. A sword and shield is big and clever, a sword and dagger is sexy.


For bucklers, I’d enjoy seeing a few more people with the interesting stylish designs, rather than just round ones.

For example, the deeply fluted eight-or-ten-pointed or holly-leaf shape from Talhoffer’s fechtbüch:

or a trapezoidal (not quite rectangular) wavelike/corrugated style, which I like a lot, and paid someone to make for me:

(The grip goes parallel to the grooves on those; sorry I can’t find better pictures just now.)

There’s also this oddity, which the sellers claim is a replica of a buckler (of unusual design) from the 16th century: Italian Buckler -

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There are some excellent drawings of the wave-like style in the book
Opera nova … de l’arte de l’Armi
By Achille Marozzo (published in 1550)

In particular:

Does sword and dagger require ambidexterity? I’m considering dual sword to give my off hand some reach, and I’m interested to hear about battlefield experiences of the effectiveness of different styles.

Yes, you will need ambi but it’s quite a cheap
XP spend from memory.

In general ambi isn’t as useful as having a buckler or a shield in field combat. However, it is fun and can be flashy in duels. :slight_smile:

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Ambi has the highest hard skill requirement of any combat skill to be effective.


Thanks for the replies. Yes, just 1XP for ambidextrous or 2 for weapon master (for a polearm). Other members of my guild have a variety of weapons I can try out so I’ll have a go with them next month and see what works.

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