The terms for fighting a war in Wandering Ronin are very broad, but certain rules must be adhered to in order for the game to continue to be fun for everyone. Below are the rules of warfare.
Rules of WarEdit
All battles during a war must be pre-arranged by the officers from both chapters that are fighting that day. If two fiefs wish to do battle, their officers contact each other, set a time and date for the battle (at least a weeks notice to the chapter is a courtesy, but not required), and then the officers are required to get some form of tribute trophy for the other team should they lose (nothing extravagent: a simple snowglobe or similar trinket will do). Be sure not to make the burden of travel fall completely on one chapter or the other if the distance is great: find a mid-way point to fight if at all possible (and be sure to check that location for suitabilty first!)
No newbies during battlesEdit
As much fun as it is to bring new people to the field, anyone who has played LESS than a full day at their home chapter is not allowed in combat during a pre-arranged battle. This prevents stacking the deck with people who will slow the battle down and potentially do more harm than good to the entire event. They may attend, but only as pages or spectators.
All members of each chapter involved in a battle must have a signifying heraldry on them to determine who is on what team. The usual is to have your chapter's heraldry emblazoned on either your garb, a large belt favor, or across your sash (both front and back). This helps prevent confusion and "friendly-fire" incidents.
Each chapter is responsible for bringing a single Judicator to the battle, per rank in size. Example: a fief would bring one Judicator. A Province of three fiefs would bring three Judicators. A Prefecture with ten fiefs would bring ten Judicators. This allows for many eyes and ears on the field to call disputed shots and keep the battle clean and fair.
Only one war may be fought by a chapter at a time. In the event of your higher chapter becoming involved in a war (you, as a fief, having your Prefecture go to war), the lower level war is cancelled with no penalties incurred by either side.
Concluding the WarEdit
A war may end in several ways:
A chapter may surrender to another chapter at any point in the war after the first battle is concluded. When one side surrenders to the other, they must offer the victors a trophy emblazoned with their heraldry on it (a simple scroll of fine craftsmanship will suffice) as well as a formal letter announcing their surrender. The victors may not declare war on the vanquished again until a full year has passed from the surrender; the vanquished, however only have to wait three months to issue a Declaration of War or Rebellion against the conquerors. For three months, however, the vanquished may make no declarations of any kind against any other chapters in Wandering Ronin.
After six months of war, both sides are considered too exhausted to fight any longer, and the war ends in a draw. At this point, neither side may issue any new declarations against any other chapters for six months. The incentive to win a war is high because of this, and should provide each chapter with the cause to prevail.
If a Declaration of Peace is initiated by the aggressors after the first battle, the war ends immediately with neither side having won. The victims may counter declare at any point afterwards, while the aggressors may issue no new declarations against other chapter for three months.
Higher Level Declaration of WarEdit
In the event that two chapters are fighting (ie- a fief and a fief in the same Province), and their Province goes to war for any reason, their declaration is null and void with no penalties incurred by either side. This includes any two chapters of any size whose larger chapter goes into war. While it may be seen as an "escape" clause to get out of a war, it is still a war, and there will be penalties to the chapter anyways if they lose the larger war.
The goal of a war is to learn new skills, have fun with other chapters around you, and play the game we all love. Never take a war win or loss personally, and never hold a grudge in real life. It is still a game, and deserves to be treated as such.