Excerpts from King Gustafon's Address
To the Soldiers of the Black Army

October 22, 1142


"By now you are all aware that troops from King Blanco's notorious White Army are headed toward our kingdom. We will respond to this act of war immediately and forcefully. I have the utmost confidence in your ability to work together to successfully defend our land and our loved ones.

"Your specific assignments will be made as the situation develops. Right now, I'd like to briefly go over the general strategies you should follow as we engage the enemy.

  • "Our first major objective will be to control the travel routes between our lands and Blanco's. We will post a dominating force at the central crossroad area. All of your movements this morning should be aimed at that major intersection.

  • "Before you leave this chamber, abandon any wishes you may have for a quick and easy battle. Assume that Blanco's men will meet your every move with the most forceful response possible. Don't waste time building risky booby-traps, gambling that our opponent just won't see them.

  • "Position yourselves so that the White Army will constantly feel threatened. Give them reason to worry. Make 'em sweat! However -- this is important -- do not attempt a major attack until you've made sure our forces are ready to fight as a team.

  • "I've prepared a hidden war room. From there, I'll direct our attack without needlessly attracting enemy fire into our camp. There's no point in me staying in the open where I'm an easy target. That would only force you to concentrate on defense.

  • "I will join you in the battle as soon as it's possible for me to move about without drawing an attack. Until that time, the soldiers who are assigned to guarding the war room should not leave their posts, unless there are compelling reasons to do so.

  • "Our deployment today will be led by the royal bodyguards, the cavalry, and our field advisors. The rest of you should generally allow these soldiers to advance to the front lines before you begin your operations.

  • "Ground soldiers -- don't forget that our rules of war prohibit you from making a retreat. Before you head out, be sure you are not leaving a comrade or a position undefended. Don't race ahead only to get yourself in a position where men will have to be diverted to defend you.

  • "As a final note, let me assure every one of you that should you fall in battle I will find and reclaim you when the fighting is over. Just don't make it hard on me by goofing off on the sidelines. If you do, someone's bound, sooner or later, to fall off the playing field and roll under the big guy's sofa! You fellas are a lot harder to spot than Blanco's troops are down on the floor!

"I'd now like to exit this hall before someone asks me to explain the rules for capturing the enemy en passant!"


Begin Chapter Six!

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