I like to put a few humanoid races in my world, each with some boons and/or banes. While it is easy enough to figure out the major implications of a single isolated characteristic, things get more difficult once you mess around with 5 factors, 8 races and need to know who can bully who militarily. While I am most curious about pre gunpowder warfare, but feel free if you want to speculate about the age of pikes and gunpowder.
The factors I am messing with are:
- Size: smallest (<1,4 m), smaller (1,4 to 1,7 m), base (1,7 to 1,9 m), bigger (1,9 to 2,3 m), biggest (>2,3 m)
- Strength: weakest (0,5x), weaker (0,75x), base (x = human strenght per pound), stronger (2x), strongest (5x)
- Agility: I have no idea of how to measure it
- Endurance: I have no idea of how to measure it
- Maintenance: average daily calories you have to give a soldier to make him perform at his best in a long campaign.
I take for granted that size and strength scale with maintenance, and endurance usually will not come paired with neither of the two since it will make maintenance skyrocket. The trickest part is consider the difference between the advantage that one has in dual not always scale to a battlefield, for example I race that is stronger but have lower endurance might be bad at war in general since the engagements will be too exhaustive.
I would rather know how two or more factors will interact in the context of a war, considering things such as logistics, tactics and overall strategy to submit that play to their strengths and compensate for their weaknesses , like: stronger, low endurance and high mantenance, would preffer skirmishing tatics to avoid prolonged engagement and will try to demoralize their foes into a early surrender using shock tactics as it is costly to supply their armies. But if you want work with more specific circunstances, here are some stock races:
- Humans: are the base for all stats, except endurance, we nail at it
- Dwarfs: smaller, stronger
- Elves: weaker, more agile
- Halflings: smallest, more agile, low maintenance
- Orcs: bigger, stronger, less endurance, high maintenance
- Giants: biggest, stronger, less agile, highest maintenance
- Ogres: bigger, strongest, less agile, less endurance, high maintenance
Edit: Since requested, here at a actually specific setting
- Juvenes: the only humanoids to form highly hierarchical societies. Others can form complex societies, but only they will blindly follow the current tyrant in a senseless war. They are not particulary brave and may flee the battlefield and the army altogether, but more aesily follow orders otherwise. They have high endurance.
- Arvanos: 1,6 m tall, strong arms and backs and can sustain themselves with poor diet for extensive periods. Live in more burocratic and absolutist kingdoms. Have access to horses. Usually have strong and stable economies when compared with their neighbors
- Rasuins: 1,8 m tall, weaker but even more enduring, can fight for as much as 6 hours with no signs of exhaustion. Live in more feudal kingdoms. Have easier access to horses
- Elderes: have good night vision and hearing.
- Kochevenik: 1,2 m tall, strong for its size and more agile than a monkey. Live in nomadic tribes in a rainforest.
- Reuben: 2,1 m tall, strongest race considering its weight, but have low endurance and needs more maintenance. Live in descentralized city-states confederations usually tied together under a non-heraditary monarch in a less rainy rainforest. Have access to giant deers bred as mount. As developed economically as arvanos
- Giants: The biggest humanoid group, they need a lot of calories and generally will be field with poorly made weapons since it has to be adapted to their size. Giants are few and far between and usually don't coexist in countries of other races. They are the only ones we low population density, even when considering their life-style.
- Gigas: live in small isolated pastoral communities, they only 2,5 m tall but not particulary strong. They are more enduring than other giants and can be sustained with a poor diet. They are more social and inhabit some small folk countries, especially those of the arvanos
- Ghawl: they are 3 m tall, more resistent to drier climates and weaker but have some enduring. They live in small nomadic tribes and often raid arvanos and rasuins.
- Vishaal: they are the least enduring, but by far the strongest of the races. They live in semi-sedentary villages in the most remote reagions of a rainforest. Will band together to defend against reubens
Theaters of War
- Reubens raiding kochevenik and vishaal for slaves. This occur in the rainforest and there is no way of getting mercenaries. Also this is more of a descentralized raiding lead by reuben princes in the boarders rather than a full scale war.
- Arvanos and rasuins protecting against ghawls raids. Arvanos and rasuins not always share a kingdom, but usually the more rasuins the more feudal the country is. Mercenaries in the region include gigas and both juvenes races.
- Actually wars between countries of 2, but this time ghawls can be hired as merceneries.
- Reuben princes fighting each other.
- Reuben mad lads trying to take over some coutry of 3 while greatly outnumbered Obs: while mercenaries are always a option, local levies should be the bulk of the army