In a startling change of pace, this is going to be a short entry.
See, here's the thing. I could go over all the various different troop leading procedures out there, discuss different schools of thought in regards to small unit tactics, discipline, and other related subjects, but all that is objectively pointless, because in an RP scenario, it's not the troops that need training, it's the writer.
So yeah, the title is a little misleading on this one.
When it comes to ground combat, the only way to get good is to practice. And the only practice most folks get is during an invasion or a skirmish, which is exactly the wrong time to try to hone those skills. If you're in a faction that likes invading people, or is prone to being invaded, you need to practice writing combat of all sorts regularly.
Training exercises are what separates a proper military from a well armed mob. It's not enough to go through exercises until you start to get things right. You have to run that ish until you can't get them wrong.
And that means more faction threads devoted to training. More practice writing combat scenarios, attack and defense, grounding and fleeting, until you're confident that you can go into any given fight with any given faction and stomp them into paste. It's not enough to bloody their nose. If you want to consistently win, you've got to be good enough to make them bite the curb.
For anyone interested, I've got a very simple training plan. Divide your interested writers into two groups. Try to put some effort into construction of the groups, in order to ensure the teams are as balanced as they can possibly get. If you try to stack one side too heavily, what comes next isn't going to do anyone any good.
At the beginning of each month, come up with a new scenario. Maybe there's a military installation that has to be captured/defended, or a system that has to be raided, whatever. One side plays offense, the other defense. After two weeks, restart the scenario, and have the teams switch roles.
The logic behind this is simple: the more you practice, the better you get. Furthermore, the more your teams work together, the more effective they'll be. If you build them right, folks within the teams should naturally fall into place where they fit best. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, and the longer they work together, the more they'll be able to play to their strengths and cover their weaknesses.
Do this enough and, when the inevitable invasion occurs, your chances against a faction that don't take advantage of the ample time available to train will increase dramatically.
If you really want to get people invested, make it a competition. Keep score over regular periods, whether it be quarterly or yearly or whatever, and give out bling based on that. Competition almost always makes people work harder, even if the end reward is little more than pride and a fancy new tag for their signature.
As an added benefit, this will give faction leadership a chance to evaluate new talent. If you set up everything right and pay attention, you'll be able to more effectively place your people in leadership positions within the faction, and choosing your successors will be a lot easier. Many factions have died because the leadership quality declined with each successive generation. If you properly evaluate your members, you can avoid that problem altogether.
That's nearly all there really is to say on the matter, but I've got one more thing before I shut up.
My goal with this lecture series is to help improve the overall quality of combat in invasions. The more people know and the more skilled they are, the more likely things are to go smoothly. In short, I want invasions to be fun, not headaches, and I'm trying to do my part to make that happen.
I don't expect everyone to agree with me all the time, and in fact, I welcome debate and discussion. Polite discourse is a key foundation of understanding, and the more sides folks have to consider, the more prepared they'll be when the time comes to make decisions.
If you choose not to take advantage of the resources provided by myself and others, that's on you. But, if you do decide to, and you want help in doing so, gimme a holler. I'm not tied down to any one faction, and I'm more than willing to help anyone who asks, so long as they're willing to put in the work to get better.
Anyway, that concludes today's lecture. As always, the comments section is open, just don't be an ass.