• Member Since 18th Jun, 2013
  • offline last seen Nov 21st, 2021

OTCPony


From Scotland. Likes worldbuilding and epics.

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War is ruin, predicted and then remembered as glory.

The Changelings and their vengeance-mad Queen grow ravenous in the south. Nations all around gaze hungrily at Equestria. In the north, beyond the Crystal Mountains, an unfathomable menace sends even the fiercest Diamond Dog packs fleeing before it. In Canterlot, a capricious Prince lusts for absolute power.

Against it all, Equestria stands toothless. Fearful for his country and thirsty for vengeance against Queen Chrysalis, Shining Armor desperately tries to convince Princess Celestia of the need for an Equestrian Army. Yet even as plans are made to march against the Changelings, the means for his triumph may have been delivered into the hooves of Prince Blueblood, who will risk everything to seize the crown he deems rightfully his.

Map
Royal Equestrian Army order of battle

Chapters (46)
Comments ( 171 )

What I have in mind when I first saw the title was Tom Clancy's 'Patriot Games' and I've noticed that the Royal Guards in the prologue bears many similarities (purchase of commission, ranks, tactics and command etc.) with the British Army. (Kipling’s Victorian Army, to be precise) Not to mention the officer that you choose as avatar image. (Is it from Monty Python?) Are you planning to make your story a pretty ‘English’ one? It’d be interesting if it is.

(you may like to check out this story as well, which also features British military in Equestria)

Anyway, I thought that the title ‘Captain-General’ is only used by artillery. Shouldn’t Shining Armour be the Guards’, which appears to be regiments of foot or (air) cavalry rather than artillery, Colonel-in-chief instead? (Or Colonel of the Regiment as he actually commands the guards, you can let Cadence be the CiC)

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Thanks for the feedback! The Guards in the prologue are supposed to be a more Napoleonic-era army than Victorian, and later on the Crystal Empire branch of the Guard will start to more resemble the Russian Army of the Napoleonic Wars than the British (though rest assured, I will not forget the Redcoats!). Thanks for the fic rec as well, looks interesting.

As for Shining Armor's rank, I originally had him as Colonel-in-Chief, but since he's canonically known as the "Captain of the Guard", I decided to go for Captain-General instead. At this point in the story, Equestria has almost no military establishment beyond the regiment of Guards in Canterlot and a company detached to the Crystal Empire, so there's no variance in ranks between branches, because no branches outside the infantry exist.

And as for the avatar, it's General Melchett from Blackadder Goes Forth.

Interesting premise.... I am intrigued!:trixieshiftleft::pinkiecrazy:

Have a like!:pinkiehappy:

--Storyteller27

Interesting story. Should you not have a Human tag to? Or are those human thing not human at all in chapter 1. Like to see more of this.

This is getting good

Wow, I'm surprised that so little people read this story because it is really good.
I can't wait to see what role will humans play in this.

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I thank you, though I warn you, the next chapter will consist a great deal of "and this is how the brigades are organised..." discussions. Twilight would love it though. :twilightsmile:

The death benediction in the passage of The Origin is based on Derpy's speech in the lamentably unfinished Equestria: Total War. Would that all our fics could measure up to it. The passage itself is based on the poem Dha Werda Verda in my copy of Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Warfare.

I hope when the human return that they are not 21th warrior but more like something between 16-18th century. That would be more interesting.

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Well, that would be telling! :ajsmug:

Your story looks very terrific. The drilling, organization and tactics was modelled on the Napoleonic British Army. I would like to see chapter if you have the time.:pinkiehappy:

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I always considered the pony way of war to be similar to bayonet-and-musket tactics, based on what little we see of the Royal Guard. They wear armour, which suggests they want to be prepared for melee combat, likewise with their spears. However, when Twilight runs up to the castle wall in Part 1 of A Canterlot Wedding, demanding to see Shining Armor, they level their spears as if they could use them as firearms. Now, I thought, what era of warfare was characterised by use of firearms that could also be used like spears in the melee? Simple: the bayonet-and-musket era.

Thus, I was on a pretty big binge of Napoleonic Wars books this summer. Of course, I chose to get rid of the Guard's armour so I could get in some costume porn uniform descriptions. There will be some light infantry action in the next chapter I mean to post, which I hope you like.

Is it the humans they were supposed to be dead or not?

This chapter was a bit of a mare. Applejack's training exercise is based on the description of a Napoleonic battle at the start of Richard Holmes' excellent book Redcoat: The British Soldier in the Age of Horse and Musket. I thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested in that era.

Shining Armor's speech is a pastiche of Colonel Puller's speech in HBO's The Pacific, and Colonel Tim Collins' speech on the eve of the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

and then surprise... 100 foot tall changeling-titans appear.

ARGH! Stupid unit AI! I had you set to move, not attack-move! And that battery was *not* set to aggressive.

I'm reloading from save, let's do this right. :twilightangry2:

I'd appreciate whatever feedback you'd all deem fit to give on the latest chapter. I wasn't too sure what to make of it while writing.

3416136 You got me. I was struggling to think of a name and then I saw the Ender's Game trailer and thought "Yes!" A more appropriate title would probably give the ending away.

Shining learned the lesson that McClellan never learned.

War does have political consequences and unfortunately they must be considered in dictating plans. Whether you like it or not.

3534608 Indeed, though try as he might to balance the political and military, they will both come back to haunt him.

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Well it's better than not paying attention to the politics at all, otherwise Armor might be out of the Army and an incompetent could take his place...

Of course if that incompetent happens to Blueblood, well it is war and people do die in war, and there are plenty of disgruntled soldiers that may be willing to "frag" a bad commander...

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Oh, Magthere! Do you really think so small? Blueblood's ambition extends far beyond command of a mere army!

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Oh he obviously wants it all but an army is a good tool to acquire that, and being a war hero tends to make the job easier, particularly considering the spear points you now how have to support your power. The army is one piece in the whole game yes, but an important one.

As that line in Dominik Omega's remix of the Game of Thrones theme goes, "you may have the bigger claim but me: I have the bigger army!"

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Blueblood doesn't need to be a war hero himself. Can you imagine him to ever go so far as to sully himself with the privations of soldiering? No, but what does help is to have a war hero on your side...

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But can Blueblood KEEP a war hero on his side as his plan goes on? He has a knack for alienating himself from people and his closest ally at this point is a pony he's black mailing. He can keep some less close allies clueless as to his machinations but I doubt it would stay too secret for long from your military arm.

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Rest assured, Blueblood will eventually get his Thermidor. Until then...

Applejack crushed any thoughts she had about falling out. She had made a commitment to be here. She was the Element of Loyalty.

Shouldn't Applejack be the Element of Honestly, or are the elements different in your story?

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Thanks for noticing that. Really don't know what I was thinking.

Mmmm, worldbuilding and tactical info... :twistnerd: (Something's up with Ration Bag there...)

Blueblood is becoming rapidly more sinister and probably has more ways to go after this, and I'm liking the twist where, after early chapters made it clear how necessary a standing army was, it turns out it's actually benefiting Blueblood

3583149 But let us spare a thought for poor Radical Road... :fluttershysad:

Ohhh, OUCH. The tactical work - and the multiple POV (yay Inkie Pie) - is good stuff, but what really makes the chapter is that the best laid tactical plans and a sound battle order are messed up because one pony had an attack of nerves at the wrong time. That's disturbingly realistic!

(And Neigh, from this chapter, I'd assume has done something stupid but for sound reasons, but then you've got Blueblood in earlier chapters mentioning him as a potential ally. Did he just throw the battle...?)

3583425 Neigh presently does not know of Blueblood's scheming. His flanking attack, which tipped off the Changelings and encouraged them to withdraw, was the unfortunate result of a combination of his own aggressiveness (hardly a bad thing in an officer, but one that must be measured) and the army's doctrine, which encourages individual initiative when it appears that the best laid plans have gone wrong: Ironically, things could have stayed according to plan had Neigh just stuck to his original orders, but he was trained not to do that.

You may notice from the "Structures of war" chapter and others that Neigh is something of an enthusiastic innovator while Shining Armor really just wants to stick with what he knows. Understandable, in a way: this is the first time in a thousand years that Equestria has deployed a mass army, and Shining is not about to squander it by jumping into bold new tactical directions that look good on paper but might not work in the field. The danger will come when Shining just keeps ignoring Neigh...

3583271 I'm sparing a thought.

And now it's spared!

OTCPony--Wonderful story, but there's something that's been bothering me for some time. The Changelings are Shapeshifters. One of their biggest advantages over other Equestrian races is their ability to create near-perfect disguises at a moment's notice. Why haven't they used this advantage yet? I realize that you're going for the whole Napoleonic-era ground war vibe, but if you're using the Changelings at all as an enemy, it seems like too important an aspect to leave out.

--Storyteller27

Never visualized Blueblood as a power-hungry potential tyrant before... A fresh take on it, I must admit, but it's kind of unsettling. :unsuresweetie:

3599286 I point that out in "The Hive Queen" chapter, though admittedly perhaps not as well as I could have: the Changelings are so low on love that they just don't have the energy to take on another creature's form. They have a few drones who can still do it acting as spies, infiltrators and facilitators, but that's it. Additionally, only a few of them are still able to fly. On reflection, perhaps it's a bit of an asspull.

3601075 It struck me as a logical outgrowth of his depiction in The Best Night Ever: Narcissistic prick completely convinced of his own superiority with a belief that Power = Respect rather than the other way round. I like to believe that his experience his Rarity forced him to re-evaluate slightly. But only slightly.

3601853 Oh, OK. Thanks for the clarification. Yes, it should be restated from time to time, or made more explicit as a problem--perhaps by having one of the underlings try to do so, failing, and getting very publicly punished/killed before the Hive by Chrysalis for the unauthorized draw on their limited stores of love--just to make the state of affairs among them stick in readers' minds.

Again, Wonderful story. Kudos!

--Storyteller27

Happy Christmas/Hearth's Warming/Jinglemas/Festive-holiday-of-your-choice, everypony. Have a chapter.

As you may guess from the name, Maneden is based on the Battle of Minden in the Seven Years' War. Famously, the commander of the British regiments misinterpreted his orders to "advance on the sound of the drums" as "advance to the sound of the drums", marching his infantry into a massive force of French cavalry. To everyone's amazement, they drove off three cavalry charges with fierce discipline and unit cohesion. I've tried to recreate that here with Applejack's division.

Firebolt's unwillingness to commit her cavalry is based on similar reticence by the British cavalry commander, George Sackville, at Minden, although here a brigade of cavalry does charge alone because I wanted to give Rainbow Dash some action.

Looks good so far... what are you going to show us next? (not Antietam, I hope... :applecry: )

Merry Christmas and Happy Hearth's Warming Eve to you! /)

Whoa HO, this is an intense chapter - all tactical violence and things coming this close to completely bucking up and then being yanked back towards victory (assuming Cocoon doesn't pull a rabbit out.,.)

So I saw The Desolation of Smaug on Boxing Day and really liked "The King beneath the mountain" poem Bard recites. The prophecy here is based on that.

The House of Aethelric mentioned by Blueblood comes from K9Thefirst1's A Brief History of Equestria.

If you're wondering where the title of the chapter comes from, it's based on Horace Walpole's description of Britain's Annus Mirabilis of 1759 during the Seven Year's War: "Our bells are worn threadbare with ringing for victories".

The thing with Prophecies Blueblood is that their inherently vague, you may "come into your own" but what if "your own" is not what you think it is. Further purposeful mistranslation for the sake of verse could spell trouble if key literal components were ignored.

Not to mention even if humans return, who's to say they will be the villain or not, perhaps they'll even be the ones to liberate the throne from Blueblood if he's right in his initial translations.

Prophecies are mere xs on a map, giving you no guide of how to get their, or what you will find. It is unwise to put faith in such ventures.

3736035 Blueblood hasn't necessarily fudged the translation, but it's emblematic of his own massive hubris that he'd take the bits of the prophecy that are convenient to him literally, and completely discount the inconvenient parts as just poetic metaphors (though admittedly, discounting the bit about humans wouldn't be without precedent in Equestria's academia). For all his planning and new public charm, Blueblood remains and enormously self-absorbed jerk.

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