Armies, Barbarians and Terrorists: A Look into Raiding Groups

THE PHILOSOPHY CORNER- Should armies have raiding parties with bandits who own no servers? What are the benefits and the negative consequences of such an idea taking place?

In the present day we are used to armies that are very established, organized and very similar. In fact, we have expectations of what a ‘real’ army should look like: they must have a ranking system, have a website and a Xat, and we even have rules on how many servers the army should own or how many people the army should field at events to be considered a ‘proper’ army.

Why is this? In my opinion, the reason that we feel the need to be so organized, to only consider armies that fit certain specifications, as ‘real armies’, is because of the fact that we rely so heavily on the concept of the modern nation-state. In the modern world, a country is not officially a country unless it is recognized as such internationally, even if it is fully self governing (say, Taiwan). Every country also has rules that it is expected to follow: for example, today it would be an outrage for a country’s troops to cross the border and invade another country, because there are international obligations in honoring boundaries, but in the past, that isn’t the case.

And really, it’s almost never been the case in human history. Tell the President of China today to consider conquering, say, Mongolia, to earn prestige for his country and to gain new territory, and he’d be in for a deep thought. Tell the Emperor of China that about four hundred years ago, and he would be much more easily persuaded: there was no such thing as national boundaries and international outrage; conquering a bunch of steppe tribes in Mongolia would have made for a nice war of glory. There were much less rules and conventions in both peacetime and wartime in the past than there is in the present. And because we take a lot from the present, we automatically model ourselves on the concept of the modern nation-state.

Go Barbarians!

But what if we took the other route? What if some people (not even the whole community, just some people) decide to scrap the rules? What if they’re not gonna care that they don’t fit the requirements of being an army, that they’re going to adhere to things like the “24 Hours Rule”, that servers are considered the territory of an army and that raiding it would be an act of war? We’ve entered the (still imaginary) realm of outlaws, of raiding groups, of bandits, of terrorists.

Map of China during the Ming Dynasty

In order to illustrate this, I’d like to take a few examples from real life. Taking the example of the Emperor of China that we were talking about earlier: while the Chinese were often the ones waging the wars of conquest, often times it was the other way around; there were often nomadic tribes outside the Great Wall of China who were constantly raiding and plundering; they were not organized people, and they had no permanent territory, but simply traveled around, living off the earth. At the opposite side of Eurasia, the Roman Empire also faced tribes. Barbarians‘, the Romans and Greeks called these people; uncivilized, dirty tribals who raided at will. The Chinese also came up with similar concepts of the barbarians living outside their Empire. (In fact, everyone outside the empire was a barbarian to the Chinese and the Romans: as late as the 18th century, the Chinese Emperor wrote a letter to Britain, saying it is a barbarian land. Okay, I’m getting side-tracked, that had nothing to do with the topic. Sorry).

And these ‘barbarians’ wrecked havoc on both the Roman and Chinese empires. Some tribes succeeded in conquering portions of China, establishing dynasties that would rule over the country. Others managed to raid deep into Chinese territory. On the other hand, in Rome, the ‘barbarian migrations’ into Roman territory eventually caused pressure on the Western Roman Empire, being one of the leading causes of the fall of the Empire in 476 A.D.

The migration of the barbarian tribes

Today, of course, these ‘barbarian tribes’ who had no permanent territory don’t really exist anymore, except as tamer people living as minorities in a larger nation-state. But what if they did exist in armies? What would they be like? After all, it’s possible for us to have ‘raiding groups’ in armies, right?

The Raiding Group

Here’s how I would visualize the concept of a raiding group. Instead of being an official army, they’d only be around the size of

A terrorist. Yeah.

a small army. Most of their events would be unscheduled, and so they’d require quite a chat size at all times. Their main events? They don’t have ‘real’ events, because they won’t own any servers. Instead, they’d be constantly raiding other armies’s servers, and perhaps even raiding their official events. Why? Just for fun.

Let’s try an example. I’ll make up a raiding group based on the model I just outlined, and I’ll call them the Splash Terrorists. They’d have a xat, certainly, and I’d make about five or six people my subordinates. (I’ll make sure that these five or six people are from different time zones, because unscheduled events around the clock are important). I might or might not make a website, although I probably will, so I can post about any special Top 5 army events that I want to raid for fun.

Random stuff barbarians do. (It’s a painting of the Sack of Rome, by the way).

If the ST stays at the size of a lower SMAC top ten army (say, 5 to 7 people), then obviously they’re going to be at most an annoyance for major armies. However, if the SB grows larger, say, to about 15 people, where they can actually wreck an event if they want to, it might manage to become a major pain for armies.

And the fun part? Because the raiding group doesn’t have any servers, you can’t really retaliate or anything.

I’ll let you ponder that thought for a while; when you’re ready, skip down as I’ll talk about the possible benefits and consequences of this idea, if it becomes a reality.

The Possible Consequences

  • More fun for armies? I’m not sure about this. Some leaders are going to be into major rage mode if a raiding group raided a lot of his events, while some who are more good-humored will find it as a fun way to have battles and events unscheduled, and will be a good way to keep armies active.
  • More diplomacy needed: people who think we have too much politics in armies will certainly groan at this thought, but if some leaders are really annoyed at what’s happening with all the raids, they might want to form an alliance with the raiding group. And this leads to my next point…
  • A new dimension to warfare: what if an army makes an alliance with one of these raiding groups, and uses them as an ally in a war against another army? The raiding group’s support could be enlisted for greater sizes during events, and also for some unscheduled raiding against the enemy.

In conclusion, I’m really not sure if this is a good idea, and this post isn’t asking this to be implemented (because really, if people do adopt this idea things might go a bit crazy), but it’s just a concept that I wanted to explore, and, as I always try to do in my posts, give people a bit of food for thought about how armies could be changed.

What do YOU think? Is this a good idea? Would raiding groups make armies better or worse? Would YOU join one if one were created?

Thanks for reading.

Splasher99

CPAC Vice President

33 Responses

  1. too long didnt even read

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  2. Ah, very good post, Splasher. I honestly have to say the raiding groups, to a reasonable extent, would a force that could help CP Warfare have more some enjoyment in the long run. However, back in its rather short-lived glory days, the Purple Republic was so, so large that its sizes could crippled even a large CP army target over time (had the army fallen into enough chaos and confusion), if this raiding group actually have had a decent level of coordination and a slightly clearer purpose, which it generally lacked. So, as long as the raiding group doesn’t end up having and using power to ruin armies, I wouldn’t mind some existing, even if they acted rude or obnoxious.

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  3. Longest post I’ve ever read…how’d you keep it so interesting?

    Also PR was like a raiding group so they pretty much have existed.

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  4. This had PR written all over it. Good post. But really, it all just come down to politics. As always.

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  5. o god dangit

    i knew i was forgetting something when i wrote this post

    now i know what i forget

    PR

    i meant to write about pr

    HOW DID I FORGET GEEZ

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  6. There are no negative consequences with this idea because there weren’t any in 06 07

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  7. Interesting thought, though it would smash almost every form of organization we’ve ever invented. :mrgreen:

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  8. Just saying but these barbarians did have permanent territory, some of them. The Ming Dynasty was actually a rebellion from the Yuan Dynasty, which was a part of the Mongol Empire (aka “barbarians”). Also, all the tribes were barbarians migrating to form permanent territories in the Roman Empire. The Franks, who formed the Frankish Empire (and from it, France)? They still exist 😛

    Just my history obsession, you can ignore this comment really.

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    • Yeah, I thought the same thing about the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty. : )

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    • I did consider the Mongols, but really by the time of the permanent establishment of the Yuan Dynasty, they had already become pretty much a more settled civilization- which no longer fits in with the concept of the ‘small raiding group’.

      Regarding the tribes: really, they were pushed down to the Roman Empire more because of necessity than because of a desire to establish a permanent control over a certain piece of territory. We’re not quite sure yet about what caused it, although there are various possible reasons.

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    • I’m also obsessed with history so this post was very interesting to me.

      Like

  9. You could say the Blue Soviet Mafia was this type of raiding group, although they had almost no events (except one) and died out after like a month (I’m talking about their return from end of January- end of February)

    If I made a raiding group, they would probably be called the Wahabists of CP 😮

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  10. “And the fun part? Because the raiding group doesn’t have any servers, you can’t really retaliate or anything.” The good old stateless strategy at work. 😮

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  11. Of course Sir.Proditor. No shit sherlock.

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  12. Your English teacher would be proud.

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  13. Man u just gave me the best idea ever

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  14. With regards to the reference to chinese emperors taking over mongolian steppe tribes to gain prestige, I find it Ironic that around 1000 years a go a bunch of steppe tribes united under Genghis Khan took over the entirety of all china xD I bet that made for a nice bit of glory too!

    Like

  15. Great article.

    Like

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