Maxwell’s Militia: ‘Tank Lords and Gun Captains’
Background: The TM1-1 entry for Maxwell’s Militia states that this culture is based on some form of feudalism. They have a few functional M60 tanks and heavy guns.
Now….a feudal system has several defining characteristics but, for
the moment, I’m going to talk about only two.
1. A powerful and hereditary military elite – such as the Knights of Medieval Europe or the Samurai of (fairly recent) Japan.
2. Ties of PERSONAL loyalty. Individual loyalty to another individual, not a loyalty to institutions like “The State”, “The Party” or even “The Clan”.
My assumptions: Like every society, Maxwell’s Militia forms its own image of the ‘heroic ideal’. Like other feudal societies they tend to emphasise a form of chivalry.
Historically, the chivalric ideal has a unique aspect; the chivalric are not only expected to be brave, competent and dutiful to the point of self-sacrifice – that applies to many warrior cultures – they are also expected to be “gentlemen”.
The feudal/chivalric ideal has the belief that warriors should be capable of conducting themselves with courtesy and with style – both on the battlefield and in society. In the case of Maxwell’s Militia this is assigned to two ranks: ‘Tank Lords’ (or more formally: ‘Tank Commanders’) and ‘Gun Captains’.
These people are the MM equivalent of barons and knights. They are granted land and power in exchange for service to their superiors. They are EXPECTED to act as “Officers and Gentlemen” (many do not achieve this).
Tank Commanders have the highest rank, followed by Captains of Heavy Artillery, Light Artillery and a lower status for mortar crews.
Ammunition manufacture is controlled by the Tank Commanders (or Barons). Infantry are not professional troops and only raised as necessary.
Commanding an AFV, or leading a gun team are complex tasks which can be learned via an apprenticeship. In Maxwell’s Militia, teenagers from high-status families are sent away from home to observe the performance of senior warriors and enter their service (like squires). In other words, these teenagers take oaths of personal service to AFV commanders, etcetera.
Like a medieval squire, this apprentice (known as a “cadet”) follows his master in battle, fights for him and under him, learns from him and hopes to be rewarded for prowess in battle (or at least achieve status after years of training).
ALSO – and equally importantly – the cadet is expected to display the equivalent of ‘courtly’ behaviour, which in the case of Maxwell’s Militia includes the acquisition of an education AND technical skills. Not every cadet can achieve the highest rank – but they can become “crew” and assist their leader in the operation of his vehicle or artillery piece.
Retired cadets become the technicians who maintain the Maxwell’s Militia equipment – allowing TLB equipment to be kept operational.