War Manual

Calontir Manual of Verbal Commands


GENERAL EXECUTION OF COMMANDS

Calontir Army commands are typically given as a multi-step process. First a preparatory command is issued (ex: prepare to Charge ), followed by an execution command (ex:  Charge ). The preparatory command alerts the army to the plan and the execution command tells us when to do it.

As no commander’s voice is likely to be heard by every fighter in the line (especially in the din of battle) each command should be echoed by every fighter in the unit that hears it. In this way we maximize the likelihood of unified action.

For example if the Commander wishes the army to advance one step he would first call out the preparatory command, “Prepare to Advance one Step”,  which would then be echoed by the Army. He would then issue the command “Step” causing the entire army to repeat the command and advance one step.

Command Targets

Usually commands will be prefaced with the word “Calontir.” An example would be, “Calontir,  Prepare to Charge.”  However not all commands are intended for the entire Calontir Army. In these cases the Command will be prefaced by the company, sub-unit, or individual, for which they are intended. For example, one might hear “First Company Reform”, or, “Right Flank, Poles Up”, or even “Fernando, Down.”  If no target prefaces the command then assume it is for all of Calontir.

Additional Commands

When necessary commands can be given in simple English. “Form a line along the trees” or “Back up the center of the line” both make perfect sense, for example.

B. Position of Arms:

Dress the Line / Dress Right /Dress Left

Dress the Line means adjusting the spacing between fighters – closing gaps and/or opening them to ensure room to swing effectively. The rightmost fighter takes his place then, in sequence, each fighter to the left adjusts the spacing to his right as appropriate

Upon the order “Calontir, Dress the Line” soldiers look to their right and make sure they are covering where they are supposed to be overlapping or standing, and that they are in a straight line. “Dress the Line” is typically performed when the army is stationary. This is not to be confused with “Reform” which is done while the army is on the move and we have started to lose unit cohesion.

Step:
Step is a simple command to move the army forward one step in unison. It can be used when not engaged with an “enemy” to move the line a small distance. It is more typically used to advance the army into the enemy while fighting. Each time the step command is given each fighter should advance one moderate step. It is common to hear this command issued repeatedly with only a “Prepare to Advance. Step! …Step! … Step! … Step!”  etc…

Shorter fighters should plan to take a larger step than usual, tall fighters need to take a shorter one, and someone on their knees may need to quickly take two or three small steps to keep the line even.
If the step command is given to a line of scutum fighters on their knees, it is assumed that the command is for approximately an 18 inch forward movement. This is typically achieved by moving the base of the scutum forward, following it with the body while returning the scutum to perpendicular, and immediately redressing the line. Note: This takes six to eight seconds per step (slightly less if we know we will be making multiple steps, as we may not fully redress the line at each step.)

Advance

Advance means move forward at the pace set by the commander. Some commanders will lead from the front physically indicating direction and speed. Others will stand back and simply indicate a target or direction verbally by saying something like, “Head towards the Tuchux” or “Faster.”

Advance to Contact

Advance to a place where your weapon can hit the enemy. Period. You are not “in Contact” until you can kill with your weapon.

Charge (Column / Pulse)

Charge is a pretty obvious command. It should be called when we are close to the enemy. Unless otherwise specified consider a Charge command to indicate that the goal is to penetrate the enemy line. shield men in the front ranks should angle their shields like a snowplow and aim for the gaps between two adjacent foes. The opposing line will be disrupted as we push them backwards and sideways which will give our shield men space to step forward. It is imperative that our poles follow closely on the heels of the scutum – stepping into the new gap and then swinging. If the pole is more than a step behind (s)he loses the cover the shield provides and allows time for the gap to close or the scutum fighter to be killed.  Third rank spears should be close enough to take advantage of the disruption created by those in the front. They must follow forward keeping the gap between ranks to a minimum while taking shots at exposed opponents. With everyone advancing together we can create a deadly killing machine that slaughters a packed foe. Once impact is made, our entire line then needs to be advancing as we kill. Standing still only allows a line of dead bodies to pile up, which will then be very difficult to cross.

Column Charge

A Column Charge is just like a regular charge except we will typically line up only one to three men wide and attempt to focus on one part of the enemy. Typically, column charges are prepared for use in the rear and then sent out through a gap or door. Column Charges should maximize penetration for the enemy lines. Those leading the charge should keep moving forward until dead.

Pulse Charge

A Pulse Charge is essentially a temporary charge. It is designed for a quick effect. This charge generally will move forward, swing no more than a few times then get back to the safety of the line while surprise is still in effect. One major benefit of the Pulse
Charge is that they should be re-usable.  Pulse Charges will have the entire front line advance to contact, deliver 3 blows and then step back two paces.  Chargers executing a Pulse Charge properly will return alive.

Prepare (Brace) for Charge

Prepare to receive a Charge should not be confused with Prepare TO Charge.  This command will be given when we have reason to suspect the enemy is close to charging. Even if you can see the enemy and think it is obvious, remember some of your comrades (the shorter ones, or those behind shields) may not. When this command is given set your balance to resist the push of the charge. Shields should set. Spears should move to the third rank allowing the poles into the second rank, then brace the shields with their spear points if possible. Poles should move to the second rank, brace the scutum fighter’s backs with their leg, and make ready to unleash a maelstrom of rattan upon the foe.

“Attention Battalion, Brace to Receive Now!”  This command tells our line that it is going to get hit with a charge and we are just going to absorb the impact.  Now should be shouted just before contact.  Everyone who can see should be detailing the enemy’s
progress.

Scutums Down (Drop)

This command is typically used to tell the front line shields to go from a standing position to a kneeling one. Sometimes the commander will substitute “Shields” for “Scutums.”

Scutums Rise

This command is used to tell the front line shields to go from a kneeling position to a standing one if they are able. It is very important that sufficient time be given to allow a scutum fighter who may have been kneeling a long time to prepare for this action so that they can execute the maneuver simultaneously. Sometimes the commander will substitute “Shields” for “Scutums”

Scutum Replacement

“Scutum Replacement” simply means that we need a new scutum fighter to replace a tired, wounded, or slain scutum fighter in the front rank. When this is called we need to get a replacement in quickly. If we have reserved scutum fighters they will fill in, however any pole or spear fighter can take a scutum fighter’s place. They should pull their back up weapon (they are carrying one right?) and drop down to their hands and knees. Staying low they should crawl forward to the scutum that needs them. They should reach out over the current scutum fighter’s left shoulder with their left hand and take hold of the handle and tell them, “I’ve got it.” The replaced fighter should crawl past on their right side as the replacement hooks their pommel over the bar of the handle and squeezes into their place. Once set, at a safe moment they can let go with their left hand pass it through the lower strap and get a proper grip. Other nearby fighters can help keep the Scutum safe during this time by hooking it, and blocking enemy hooks. Done right the enemy should never know the fighter was replaced.

Spears Up / Poles up

These commands are used to swap the second and third rank poles and spears. Poles will be brought forward when the enemy is too close for effective spear work or when a charge is expected. Spears will be brought forward when the enemy is at a range where the poles are less effective. Executing these swaps quickly is important so as to maximize our time in the best killing array.

Spears Out

When doors are in use, “Spears Out” tells the spear fighters designated to the job to move out in front of the shield line. Spear fighters must get fully out of the door to allow the next in line to follow. This must be done quickly so as to bring a number of spears out before the enemy can react to the first one or two. Sometimes a shield man or two, or even a small sweep or pulse charge will be designated to precede the spears out buying time for them to set.

Spears in

“Spears In” simply means get back behind the lines to safety. The line should have gaps or “doors” left specifically for this purpose. Typically this is done because we expect the enemy to charge, or because we plan to charge, and would prefer not to run over our own troops.
Despite not being able to turn their backs on any foes in range, spearmen must get in as quickly as they came out. Once again it is important that spearmen not stop in the door way. We might have a charge heading out, or we might need to close the door before the enemy charge. Once through the door they should quickly work their way back to an effective fighting position, behind the traffic control lane, or to their staging area for the next time they are called out.

Examples of Commands:

“Attention Scutums, Scutums Down, now”.   “Scutums, Scutums Rise up, now”

“Attention Spears, Spears Up, now”

“Polearms, Polearms up, Now.”

“Attention Spears, Spears Out / In, now.”

“Section, Withdraw at the step, Step”

“Company, Reform on the captain(or section, or battalion, or by messes, Reform”    Units should always reform on the leader of the unit or whoever takes charge when the reform is called.

“Attention, Battalion, Stop ”

“Battalion, Stand Fast.”    Don’t go anywhere until you hear further orders.

Each type of maneuver can be executed by every type of unit;

“Section, Pulse Charge, March”

Definitions:

“Contact”

means everyone on the front rank can strike the enemy with their chosen weapon and until ordered otherwise should continue to keep contact with the enemy hitting them with said weapon as often as possible.

“Pulse charge”

is a short 3 step forward charge by our entire front line where the enemy is engaged for a three count and then our line breaks contact and steps backward 2 steps.

“Counter Charge”

is simply a charge delivered into an enemy charge to break its momentum.

Notes:

“A column charge”  Can be ordered by directing any specific files in any location up to and including all 4 ranks to charge to contact.

Specific weapons types may be ordered across the battalion in place of a unit.  i.e.  “Attention Scutums, Scutums Down, Now!” “Attention Spears,  Spears Up, Now!”   “Attention Secondary Shields,  Move to the rear of the Battalion, March.”

To have a unit “Stand fast”  simply tell the unit to stop and wait for orders.

COMMANDS and MANUEVERS

While marching in Column a commander may order, “Right/Left, turn”  This will cause the battalion to turn only at that point and continue forward in the new direction.  This will allow us to snake through obstacles as a unit.

Wheel Left / Right

Wheel is a command used to turn the fighting line forward to face the named direction. When “wheeling,” the fighter on end of the named side stands still while the army pivots forward around him. The outside fighters will need to move very quickly to keep in formation, while those on the named side will move much more slowly.

“Company, Right (Left) Oblique, March.”

To move the company diagonally.
On March, the soldiers turn 45 degrees in the direction commanded and continue this diagonal movement until commanded “Company, Forward, March” or “Company, Stop”, upon which they will return to their original facing.
To have the company return to its original facing, the commander may order “Company, Front”
To Deploy a Company as Skirmishers.
Company Captain Orders: “First (Second) Section, Deploy as Skirmishers, March.”
The Battalion Commander orders, “Attention Battalion, Recall the Skirmishers,
March.”

Reforming the Battalion after an action.

A. Soldiers, Sergeants and Officers will gather in an area determined by the battalion commander after they have become casualties.

1. Soldiers shall gather with their section mates.
2. Sergeants shall dress their sections and find their companies.
3. Captains shall gather their companies.
4. Wing Captains shall gather the battalion into their places in line.
5. The Color Guard shall mark the line of dress.
6. The Battalion Commander shall dress the battalion.