Soldier of the Month - The Septentrian Soldier

This is a little off from our usual talk about historical soldiers but this month I am planning on talking a bit about the Septentrian soldier - the new and improved model.

This whole process got started by a breakdown in communications in the Midrealm army. According to His Highness Syr David the Midrealm fights the war "to have fun, not just to win". The majority of fighters at war also seem to have fun as their main goal. Since last war was lacking in fun compared to others, blame (if any) should be put on the middle levels of command.

To remedy this Aedan and Grimwulf are re-organizing the fighters in Septentria. Only this barony is being targeted because, in Aedan's words, "I was in the group, and could throw some weight around in my own Barony", although both other baronies have sent observers and are more than welcome to "make their own space". The principles guiding this new army are simple: get rid of the confusion; have some fun; and if possible make a more effective force.

The main methods of doing this are to be improved communication and a brand new organization more reminiscent of a sports team than an army, which makes sense since that is what we are. Simply put, the fighters in a given area (be it a house, canton or whatever) get together. They decide how they want to fight, and pick someone to act as the team captain. This means that ideas and comments don't have very far to go since each team captain is part of the group talking about what we can do and how we can do it.

The hope is that these "lances" (a historical term which does seem to apply) will number about 10 fighters (read 8-15). If you are from a small group and only have 4 fighters you will be joined with others who fight the same way you do.

"As far as the 'lance' goes think of a hockey team. You have forwards, defense and a goalie. The team we put on the field will have some units that 'play' one position, some that 'play' another ... smaller groups will be teamed up with other small groups that 'play the same position' to make our lances. ... 'forwards' won't get teamed up with 'defencemen'."

A congress was set up by Venshavn in Der Welfengau on the 26th of January to help the team captains work with their groups by presenting several opinions on how to organize and train a group. My thanks to Stephan of Northwoods, James the Rat and John the Pell who came in to talk to us. A special thanks goes to Yog (and Syr Hasdrubal) who spoke of the psychology of groups and how to prevent commander burnout. Complete notes on this congress are being compiled and will be sent to all those who attended as well as those who considered the tournament at the event more important.

Currently lances are being set up in Eoforwic, and Nova Trinovantia. House lances are being set up by House de Taahe/Eagleshavn and Venshavn. Word is not yet in from the other groups (including Bryniau) about whether they will be sending lances or small groups to the unit practices. For those of you interested in starting up a lance/small group you can talk to the people organizing the groups above (Lord Grimwulf, Padraic au Citoque, Alasdair of Raasay and Ragnar Thorbergsson respectively) or talk to Aedan or Grimwulf (mail to 15 Greensides Dr. Toronto, Ont) about starting a new group. They will be happy to give you all of the information that has been given out so far.

Baronial/lance practices are being set up for this summer. Currently the schedule is May 12th in Bryniau, June 1st in Petria Thule at their event, and sometime in July in Eoforwic. Even if you aren't in a group/lance come on out and practice. A place will be found for you.


[note: all quotes are taken directly from Aedan's last aims paper, given out at the congress; copies are available of these and any other tactical papers to date, for anyone who wishes to cover the cost of photocopying]