The Crusader Army is legendary for its military success, much of which is due to its high degree of standardization. Alykinder’s reformation of the Tokish army in 1750 modernized the Crusader Army in every aspect, from tactics to fundamental strategies to logistical operations and equipment. Though the Crusader Army includes rhyflers of many nations, they all follow the Crusader plan.
Infantry use squad- and section-level tactics under the direction of a skillful and veteran corps of Yawdryls and Milwers. Leadership by the NCO is a hallmark of the Crusader light infantry. These squads use the long-range and powerful Ryshi heavy rifle to fix targets at long distance, and then close to use the semi- automatic Bogen combat rifle in the assault. Portable machine guns are often detached to individual sections, giving commanders a valuable support weapon at the ready. The light infantry also make extensive use of mortars, and every Crusader NCO is expected to know how to direct his company’s mortar fire. A Crusader infantry section is to be aggressive on the attack, by- passing enemy strongpoints where possible in order to advance the line of battle.
Rhyflers who show courage in combat or exceptional promise may be transferred into the Guard Catrawds. These battle-hardened veterans form the vanguard of any Crusader offensive, and the Guard Catrawd is the fundamental building block of the Crusader brigade. An ordinary line Catrawd may consist of militia or conscripts of uncertain courage and untested mettle. A Guard Catrawd, by contrast, is a thoroughly motivated and hard-fighting body of rhyflers. The Guard is further augmented with dedicated armor and artillery assets to create a truly daunting force. The deeds of the Crusader Guard are legendary.
Though the skill and number of its rhyflers are justifiably famous, much of the success of the Crusade Army has come from its tight organization. Tables of Standards, the powerful Commissariat Branch, and a heavy emphasis on logistics—the clock- work-like operation of the Crusader Army is a result of these mundane operations. For every Quar who serves on the line, there are five Quar who work in supply. But many Quar (including some Crusaders) look at the machine-like operation of the Crusader Army and wonder what it portends for the future of civilization.
In recent years, some of the polish has worn off of the Crusader Army’s reputation. The Crusade has been underway for a decade, and the depleted ranks of the Army have been filled with raw and uncertain recruits, many of them from recently conquered territories. Though the Crusaders are generally victorious in combat, they find victories increasingly hard to win, and losses of veteran units to injury or retirement are felt ever more keenly. Rebellions are springing up in captured territories, leading many to wonder if the Iron Regime’s grip is perhaps not as strong as it might seem.