Warfare is one of the two paths to victory used in both the Middle Ages and Crusader Kings III. It is the more direct one, focusing on taking titles by force on the battlefield.
Levies make up the bulk of all armies. They are conscripted peasants that are not very impressive on their own but are used in great numbers to complement more important troops or as a meat shield. Levies are made up of only one unit type, also called Levies.
Knights are the vassals and courtiers of the realm and their combat power is determined by their Prowess stat.
Men-at-Arms are trained troops that come in several different unit types which excel in their given role. There are base variations available for everyone to recruit, such as Light Cavalry and Heavy Infantry, but some are unique to certain cultures or regions on the map, though all have their own stats and uses. There are four important values present on a Men-at-Arms regiment:
- Damage represents how much damage a single soldier is able to inflict on the enemy
- Toughness represents how much damage a single soldier can take before being killed or routed
- Pursuit increases the amount of damage a single soldier is able to inflict upon the routing opponent
- Screen increases the amount of damage a single soldier can take when retreating
Each type of Men-at-Arms will counter another type. Countered Men-at-Arms have their Damage reduced based on the size of the Men-at-Arms that counter it.
|Pikemen||20||24||0||0||1||Light Cavalry, Heavy Cavalry||Long pikes allow these regiments to form walls of spikes that can stop a cavalry charge dead.|
Each army can have one Commander, who uses their Martial skill to improve the troops under their command. There are many different Commander traits available, which either have a direct effect on battles or give the Commander bonuses outside of battles.
All armies carry an amount of Supply with them. Supply is consumed whenever armies are in a Barony with a lower Supply Limit than the army size and gained whenever armies are in an allied territory up to the current Barony's Supply Limit. Low Supply will cause Advantage penalties in battles. If an army runs out of Supply it will start to lose troops over time.
At the start of any battle a combat width is set that decides how many troops are able to fight each other at the same time. The width is set to the relative size of the defender depending on the terrain type the armies are fighting in. Battles are resolved once either side runs out of fighting troops. Battles grant a limited amount or War Score.
When battle starts the Advantage, a modifier that lasts the entire battle and increases the damage of all troops on either side, is calculated for both sides. Advantage can come from traits, terrain, buildings or the Martial skill of the Commander. Each Commander will also make a roll every few days in an attempt to increase their Advantage, and the roll can be affected by various modifiers and traits.
Soldiers on the combat line damage the enemy on every tick. When a soldier runs out of Toughness he will be either killed our routed. Routed soldiers are added back to the army once the battle is resolved. Once a battle is won it enters the Aftermath phase which lasts for a few days, at which point the victor has the opportunity to chase down and kill routed troops.
Besieging and occupying holdings is the main way of gaining War Score and winning wars. In order to occupy a Country or achieve a War Goal all fortified holdings have to be besieged. Castles and County Capitals are all fortified by default. How difficult it is to besiege a holding is determined by its Fort Level, which can be increased by certain buildings and modifiers. Each Fort level increases the amount of Siege Progress needed to occupy the holding. Siege Progress is gained every tick, especially if the attacker heavily outnumbers the garrison or brings siege weapons.
During sieges certain events can happen for the attacker with a fixed interval which can increase Siege Progress. Siege weapons are required for the Breached Walls event, which allows directly assaulting the holding at the cost of troops in order to vastly increase the daily Siege Progress.
Being attacked while besieging a holding will make the besieger the attacker of the battle, making them lose any terrain defensive bonus.