The game has a maximum of six game years. Each game year
is divided into 12 months and each of these represents a turn.
Each game year can also be considered as being divided into three seasons. The first of these covers the true campaigning season. It lasts from April until August inclusive, i.e., 5 game turns. In practice, because April is devoted entirely to raising armies and because there is normally no movement in this month (unless using the optional rule for winter quarters), it is effectively four game turns in length. Troops which are raised are paid for in April, but will serve thereafter until the end of August without further payment.
The second of these is the extended campaigning season, which lasts from September until the end of the November turn. This is identical to the true campaigning season with the exception that troops have to be paid for every month at the same rate as they were paid in April. An expensive, even a ruinous business. Troops however do not have to be paid for in any month in the extended campaigning season provided that they have achieved a military success during the month in question [see 4.7 for the definition of "military success"]. Each such active army must be treated separately. It is this matter of payment for troops in September, October and November which is the difference between the true campaigning season and the extended campaigning season. To put it another way; if a player has a large army group and if he wants to use it to go after a marriage, it is pointless attempting it if the marriage is out of reach before the end of August, unless the player has the money to spend on paying the troops in September (and possibly in October and November as well) and unless he is prepared to make such payments. Remember that after it has moved, an army cannot carry out more than one action in the turn. A military attack is an action. A marriage is an action.
If a player bungles and discovers that one of his armies is in an area of movement in the September (or in October or in November) turn where it cannot carry out a successful military action, the troops will have to be paid.
Sieges too are affected. An army which cannot bring a siege to a successful conclusion in any month after August will have to pay its troops, or break off the siege by the end of August, or try a storm attack if it has sufficient troops present by the end of September.
Yet another point to bear in mind is the fact that success cannot be guaranteed in a military action. In other words, a failed military action in any month after August means that the troops belonging to the army concerned will have to be paid.
Remember that the true campaigning season is a short one of only four effective turns, after which one enters a series of just three turns which could prove to be rather more risky than those of the true campaigning season.
Disbanding an army always costs money, unless the army achieves a military success in the same turn. It follows therefore that if a player is compelled to disband an army in any month after August as a result of, for example, a military defeat, he has not only to pay the troops at a rate of M. 50 per knight/per 10 mercenaries, but he will also have to pay the same amount of money to disband the army in addition. And he may have to pay even more money in order to revoke a state of demoralisation.
Geography, the economic system and the calendar each apply their own, distinctive sets of strictures on the player. These different sets of strictures readily interact with each other, and the player has to be aware of them, both singly and the ways in which such interaction occurs.
One further note, which is not necessarily connected with the calendar: an army has to be disbanded if all of its military commanders are lost (this may happen over a series of military actions, or all at once). It is, however, still possible to have achieved a military success in such circumstances, and - in such circumstances where the army has to be disbanded notwithstanding a military success - the player will not have to pay the troops or have to pay for disbanding the army, even if this occurs in a turn after the August one.
The final season is the winter one. All armies will have been disbanded by the end of November (unless one or more players are making use of optional rule I = winter quarters) but family members who are training for a Church post continue to progress through the monastery/university, and may even attain the coveted Church post.
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