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Explanation for Operation Hydra

by Alex Benson

Hmm...seen a few posts regarding Operation Hydra as a means for Thyatis to pick itself up from the ashes. As the author that penned that little ditty, I think it would be wise to explain some of Hydra. Hopefully, I can do it in this one post instead of answering each individual post.

Why War?

Why not. Thyatis is traditionally a warlike expansionist empire. It's an empire after all. A quick victory against a economically able nation is needed. It could take years to develop a backwards area to contribute its proper share to the treasury. Thyatis needs a military win to build up domestic unity. That unity was lost somewhat after Alphatia sank. Without the threat of Alphatia the need for owing fealty to Thyatis City is weakened. National pride was also hurt during Wrath. A military victory would help this. Thyatis needs a military victory to prove their might. Not only to themselves, but also to their neighbours.

Why Minrothad?

Minrothad is a rich nation. It is also a small nation. Minrothad is also strategically placed between Brun and the Hinterlands. And who would think Thyatis would assault Minrothad. Thyatis does have cause. Minrothad bluffed them on Aegos. And the Guilds were neutral during Wrath. By not siding with Thyatis the Thadders actually aided Alphatia. Minrothad is a trade competitor to Thyatis.

Minrothad Military

IMO the Thadder security is a red herring. Their defensive forces are small. This is made worse in that Minrothad is a collection of islands. Most would say that it makes the Guilds an ideal defensive area like England in ww2. However, the Thadder islands are numerous and the military must cover all of these. Therefore you have a scenario more akin to Japan ww2, that affords an island hopping campaign. And Thyatis does not have to take all of the islands.

Thyatis's War Plan

To conquer Minrothad Guilds, Thyatis strikes in a strategic campaign instead of wanting to take each island. Their objective is to occupy Trader Island: Harbortown and Minrothad City. Winning the sea is not as vital as securing a sealane to support the troops. To secure a sealane, Thyatis sets secondary objectives on Open Island and Fire Island. To deal with the legendary Thadder Navy, Thyatis uses the age old tactic of attrition with a twist. The twist being that Thyatis does not engage the Thadders. Instead they force the Thadders to engage them. The Thyatian naval units are clustered enmasse as to outnumber any attacking force. The Thyatian navy's role is to keep the Thadder Navy out of the war as much as it is to destroy it.

Foreign Repercussions

IMO Minrothad will not get any real allies. May be a great deal of activity from the ambassadors. Thyatis is known as being sneaky so the attack on Minrothad may be a surprise, an attack itself should not be. The Guilds were neutral during Wrath and show little signs of allegiance to any nation aside from trade relations. Since most WDL nations have trade relations with Thyatis little will change trade wise. Unified WDL aid would be difficult to bring together. WDL does not include Minrothad. It would take only one nation to abstain and the deal falls through.

Darokin is a competitor of the Guilds. As a republic it cannot make a quick decision to wage war. War would be costly for Darokin with little opportunity for a proper return. I doubt Darokin would risk all out war for Minrothad. Karameikos may react. But could it? The Karameikan Navy is pitifully small. Not sure what it could do. I really do not think Stephan wants to risk war with Thyatis over Minrothad.

Five Shires. Same as Karameikos and Darokin. After Open Island is attacked, they do assemble a "volunteer force" however it is too little too late. The halfling armada has to turn back.

NACE will not interfere as they have no need. Plus, if they wanted to aid would see troops having to make a long arduous sail into Thyatian waters and near Thyatian ports.

Ending the War

Thyatis focuses on the seat of Thadder government. That taken, trade is disrupted. Thyatis really does not need the demihumans (dwarves and elves). In fact, with Trader Island occupied the demihumans will need Thyatis. So a peace can be reached with them. Thyatian rule is favourable to the Thadders. The Thyatians are ruled fairly light handed. Guilds function on operating under their own authority. As long as they obey the Thyatian governor and pay their tribute and taxes there are no problems.

Why Ierendi?

Ierendi comes in as an afterthought. They are a threat to Thyatis and its occupation of MG. Added to that, MG forces (mostly navy) and officials flee to Ierendi. Bolstered by the success in MG Thyatis attacks. It wins but the cost is high as Ierendi becomes a meat grinder.