One of the things that I tried to bring attention to in the last Muster was that PvP while a very important aspect of the game is not as frequent as you might be used to in other titles. I am sure we are all aware that in the real world war is a big deal, going up against another country or region is a huge risk a massive decision and one that should not be done on a whim. The same true in the game. Warfare is something that should be a last resort. The negotiating table should be the first battlefield. But what if talks break down, can we just declare war because we are bored or does there need to be a reason? A cause to fight for?
Our lovely community member Liva managed to get Caspian to let slip some information about Casus Belli. Which is great and all if you know what that means, if like me you are not so great on your Latin historical military terms that is literally ‘case for war’. So does the game require one?
You need a Casus Belli, “Cause of War”. Casus Belli generally means a Kingdom, Duchy, County, etc. can’t declare war on another regions without “Cause”.
What actually constitutes a cause of war though? There are the likely contenders of the opposing side being overly aggressive starting skirmishes at the borders, even assassinations. Those may give cause to fight back, but what else? Some possibilities that Caspian mentioned were:
That cause could be that you’ve discovered you’re the rightful owner of the land. It could be that you’ve proof the other kingdom has violated certain treaties or negotiations. Rejection of a marriage proposal from a higher-ranking member of society could be a Casus Belli.
Though those are ideas, and full discussions on all of the possible causes of war are still to be had. What draws my attention is how these are very much politically driven. The royal archivists turn up old maps that show the Kingdom borders have been moved over time, that land to the east was yours 200 years ago and now you want it back. Trade agreements, peace treaties across multiple regions, smuggling laws and the like which have to negotiated, written and agreed. Marriages to supplement growing Dynasties, making good matches and being careful which suitor you pick. It is great to see a lot of the ‘fighting’ happening in the libraries, the boardroom, and the ball rooms.
There was one other situation mentioned, that was simply trying the change the conditions of living for those near by. If we look over to our neighbours and thing their Count in treating them unfairly could we invade? Yes, if they ask for it first. Otherwise while we could perhaps make some subtle, or not so subtle, suggestions it really is not our place to judge.
Generally, the subjugation of a Kingdom’s citizens isn’t a Casus Belli alone. Different kingdoms treat their citizens differently. It would take a Revolution within the Kingdom and an invitation.
This really gives a spin on warfare, on nobility, on the way the upper classes work that makes them fascinating. The amount of social game play that this will cause is really quite immense and I think it will spill far beyond those who are in the noble positions with many characters working as advisers and aides. I can not want to see what happens.