I'm bad when it comes to optional info dumps. Yeah, they're optional, but usually way longer than they need to be and provide the reader with a bit too much info. The subject title says it all, folks.
The Legion is the main and official armed force of the Qaeteron Empire. Consisting of approximately 1,500,000 professional legionnaires working alongside thousands of noncombatants and highly-trained specialists, it is the most formidable fighting force ever assembled on the supercontinent. With ironclads, airships, war dragons, sea drakes, repeating ballista, archaenon, snista, submarines, and a vast array of machines and equipment at its disposal, the Legion is unrivaled in terms of conventional warfare. The Legion's formidable equipment and machines, however, do not come without a heavy cost. Military spending alone makes up the Empire's greatest expenditure, despite going through cycles of budget cuts and expansions with the Empire's ever-changing government and political climate. The Legion requires an enormous and secure chain of logistics to operate properly, something which can be a major issue in harsh terrain such as the jungles of Eclua or the rugged mountains of Folkshore. Guerilla warfare tactics favored by the tribal Prin greatly exploit this disadvantage by increasing the strain on the Legion's logistical chain through the cutting off of supply lines and the raid and sabotage of Imperial supply depots. Furthermore, the Legion is often spread thin on manpower and resources attempting to defend all of the Empire's territory at the same time, an issue which can more or less be solved in most areas by adequate militias and the hiring of mercenaries.
The Legion has no actual branches, instead having individual Regimentae Corps specialized in specific areas such as maritime operations, aerial operations, military intelligence, frontline fighting, etc.
Legion Unit Organization
Escouade (I) - Smallest unit in the Legion, consisting of 10 legionaries.
Compania (II) - Basic, standard-level unit consisting of 10 escouades, or 100 legionaries.
Battalion (III) - Larger command unit consisting of 10 companias, or 1000 legionaries
Regimentae Corps (IV) - Much higher up command unit dealing with the legionaries under its own occupational specialty. Consists of 10 battalions, or 10,000 legionaries. Commanders of each individual corps report to the command staff of the Legion's First Corps, which is double normal size (20,000 legionaries) and contain's the entire Legion's command element.
Legion (V) - Largest unit in the Legion, consisting of 10 corps, or 100,000 men. From here, commanders report directly to the Emperor and the Council themselves, where they will be given new directives and orders. The Legion's command staff organize the Legion's Regimentae Corps, give orders, oversee logistical operations, formulate strategies based on directives/orders from the Emperor and the Council, and generally just keep things running and efficient.
Legion Chain of Command
Noevan (1) - The first and lowest rank, Noevans are green men fresh out of training. As the Legion is stretched thin with a constant need for manpower, it operates on a system of individual troop rotation rather than unit replacement. Noevans are the Fucking New Guys (FNGs) of the Legion, being placed in pre-existing units of already experienced soldiers. Noevans learn as much as they can from their fellow enlisted legionaries, applying what they learn to their everyday duty and improving themselves until promoted by their compania's commanding officer. Noevans will learn and be prepared to deal with with the duties their unit faces on a daily basis when dealing with the local terrain, populace, enemy, etc.
Private (2) - The next rank up from noevan, with essentially the same power. Privates are legionaries who proved their worth in the line of duty as noevans and were promoted by their compania's commanding officer. Although the rank of private essentially wields the same power as noevan, privates are much more respected, experienced, and able to be entrusted with important tasks.
Obviously not 100% done yet.
Yeah, the title was worded shittily, I apologize for that.
Oh yeah, the Empire is at war with a large Confederacy of nomadic battlemage tribals who have the best magic in the known world. Another major reason for the Legion being spread thin is the fact that a large concentration of troops is required in the war against the Confederacy.
Basically, some 1800s level technology coexists with far more advanced magical technology. The 1800s level stuff is, for the most part, more cheap and efficient to use. The Empire gets a shit ton of iron and steel from mines across the entire Empire, while the metals used in magical technology are much more rare and expensive. For example, it costs less to make an ironclad and fit it with ballista than to train a baby dragon from birth and spend years casting spells and other magic to make sure it's always obedient and tame. In addition, Imperial dreadnoughts (which are in few number but large expense) might cost much more than dragons, but still have the practical use of being able to head into the deep ocean with a huge armament. Dragons are almost like fighters - extremely deadly and fearsome, but limited in the range of their flight before they have to stop and rest.
Most actual technological innovations come from - please don't laugh - a race of magically unskilled primates in vassalage to the Empire. Wizards deal with a whole other schabang.
Have you read my post below where I sort of explain some things better? I think if 1,500,000 is really too big, 1,000,000 could work.
I like the idea of aircraft carriers. I'll have to consider that. Thanks!
Well, optional "info dumps" should be providing info, even if some of it is in excess. Really now, when a character in a book or setting in a story is described, not every single detail is absorbed by the reader. For example, I doubt anyone could remember exact descriptions of Tolkien's introduction to his world.
If you want to write in a fantastical setting but truly want to incorporate realism, then I agree that you'll have much less "human" soldiers and more animals and machinery. That's one "tripe" I had/have with many fantasy settings; if a mage or technology is shown to be able to decimate so many men by themselves, the hell is the point in having legions of soldiers? Anyway, I'll rant somewhere else about that.
Instead of providing a laundry list of the empire's war force, just write something like "Equipped with an armada of fire-breathing dragons covered head to tail in seemingly impenetrable scales to mechanized submarines capable of blowing ships in pieces, the Empire's army is unrivaled on the continent." This way, it's more enjoyable to read(Okay I might have gone too far with the descriptions), and achieves the same message. If you want to include those other "army elements", simply show them later in your story rather than tell.
In terms of "basic flow", or syntax, I think it's fine. Nothing to write home about, but nothing particularly critique worthy. \
One last thing, in terms of developing realism, why are there forces on the ground? If the empire has massive war fleets and dragons, why don't they use them to just glass the fucking land instead of sending men to die? Are they searching for something? Are they tree huggers? Is there a reason that the tribal people need to live? Give us a reason why we are using inferior troops instead of one ship to accomplish the same goal.
Got to go. May reply later. May not. Good luck.
Well, the Dragons need airbases to operate from. Those bases need to be protected and supplied. The ground troops deal with both of those, by protecting supply lines from getting completely fucked over by the Prin and by keeping airbases from getting overrun by sheer surprise and numbers.
The Empire is using dragons and magic to burn down as much jungle as it can, but it's not easy. Think of the Vietnam War. No matter how much napalm and agent orange the USAF dropped, they could never really get rid of ALL the jungle, could they? The Tribals don't just inhabit an area the size of Vietnam. They inhabit an area almost 1/4th the size of the world's entire landmass. Of course, not all of it is jungle, but a good 75-85% of it is. The land that's not jungle is what the Empire wants. Most people say the land was blessed by the Gods, and for once, they're probably right. Most of the non-jungle land surrounds a giant lake with lush, fertile farmland, huge deposits of limestone and other raw resources, gold in the rivers, and so on. So, since this is a land of conquering rather than outright destruction and destroying, the Empire wants to capture its future land the way it is instead of a burned-out husk of shit. The boots on the ground are there to capture and hold land. They're also supposed to root out bands of tribals from the Confederacy's incredibly thick jungle.
Woah woah woah, what's this talk of millions you've got going on here? Sonny Jim, do you even understand, in a world with the meager medical knowledge available to Roman/Medieval fantasy people, and the constant bandits, war, and murder going on, 1.5 is roughly all the human manpower available to France's entire landmass? That includes all the farmers, overseers, families, children, political leaders, merchants, prostitutes, required to support those Legionaries.
This is something that I probably should have clarified in the OP; the story does not take place on Earth, taking place on a different planet in a different universe. With different laws of physics, different chemical properties, etc. etc, there is no gunpowder in this universe. Furthermore, there's no knowledge of how to harness the power of electricity, although with magic as advanced as the stuff most countries have access to (read paragraph below), there's really no need for electricity. The story takes place on the supercontinent of Pibus that's roughly the same size as Pangea. The Qaeteron Empire came to control roughly half this landmass over the course of 5,000 years. Aside from Elves and Humans, pretty much the only races found in the Empire, most races are xenophobic and relatively isolationist, usually sticking to their own lands. As such, the Empire is made up of pretty much only two races which have gotten along pretty well for thousands of years due to similar views, goals, and a balanced Imperial government. Insane Emperors and Civil Wars do happen from time to time, but only once or twice over the span of a few centuries, making the Empire pretty stable. The Empire used the Qaeteron Pantheon as a huge unifying factor when bringing together both humans and elves, being very strict in exterminating cult movements and other things of the like that might've established themselves in any human or elven minority. Internal law enforcement and whatnot is also pretty tough. Without a lot of huge internal problems, the Empire managed to not collapse and go through periods of territorial defense and expansion throughout the millenia.
The reason the number of soldiers is so large is because many problems akin to the medieval era just aren't things society has to deal with anymore. No, seriously. Magic didn't magically make everything disappear, well, I mean, yeah, it DID magically get rid of problems, but you know what I mean. Think of the ability to genetically modify with the use of magic instead of technology. Magic that can strengthen an organism's immune system, make cells produce specific proteins, etc. The same type of GMOs in supermarkets today but magically enhanced to be better. Magic has a lot of applications other than just combat. Some magical objects small enough to hold in your hand can give off their own thermal energy forever, outliving the last stars of the universe. Countries don't need to completely rely upon fossil fuels and whatnot when they have magical substances that give off an immense amount of their own thermal energy without ever cooling down (although on a large scale, fossil fuels are simply cheaper than mass-producing large magical heat-producers). People across the entire supercontinent can directly communicate by sending small blasts of magic through the air with specialized and extremely expensive crystals that uses the focus of the person's mind to send the magical message to another specific crystal on the other side of the continent. There's lots of other things magic can do, but I don't want to drag on forever, as that's not the point of this post.
Also, feudalism isn't a problem as the Empire is mostly Capitalist (with some strict regulations in place to ensure the government is never taken advantage of). The Empire directly controls all arms production, so there's no bloated military-the maintenance of infrastructure.
Honestly, the number of soldiers was originally 1,000,000, which I thought might be too small for an Empire which controls pretty much half the world's landmass and over half its population. Although, I understand your points with the fact that the number 1,500,000 might be too large (although america at one point did field one of 3 million!) for a fantasy-medieval society. I'm thinking I could reduce the number back to 1,000,000 or place more emphasis on the fact that the Legion is spread super thin.
Got it. Muchas gracias. I'll try not to to make CYS great again with huge walls of text.