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Thyatian Military Ranks

by James Ruhland

The below is a (simplified) table of military ranks for Thyatian armies, with their equivalents in parenthesis. In some units (like naval units) other ranks are used, so those follow, also in parenthesis.

These can be used in place of the usual ranks, to give Thyatian officers and troops a more distinct flavour. I encourage people to devise similar rank equivalency lists for other Mystaran nations, to make them all more unique:


Thyatian Military Ranks
Domestic (Marshal)
Strategos (General) (Drungary in navy)
Hypostrategos (Lieutenant General)
Chartulary (Brigadier)
Praefect (Colonel) (Vicarius in Auxiliaries)
Praetor (Lieutenant Colonel)
Tribune (Major) (Legatarius in Auxiliaries)
Centarch (Captain)
Mandator (Lieutenant) (Protocarabi in the navy)
Ducinator (1 per 20 troops; Master Sergeant)
Decarch (1 per 10 troops; Sergeant)
Pentarch (1 per 10 troops; Corporal)
Strator (soldier or Private) (Carabisor in the navy, as "Marine")

Ranks of Mandator and above are commissioned officers. Ranks below that are NCOs.

Note there are variations within the above, so that a given rank within one unit might be considered somewhat senior to the identical rank in a different unit (for example, Centarchs in guard units have precedence over Centarchs in regular forces, and Imperial officers have seniority over officers in colonial/Auxiliary forces). There are also variant names for several of the ranks other than those given, but sticking with the above for simplicity might be wise. But if you want to add some additional complexity, the below information might be helpful. For one example, all RAF air cavalrymen qualify as "officers," receiving a rank of "Protomandator" upon receiving their commission, which qualifies as something akin to a "Warrant Officer", though they can proceed up the ranks through Mandator, Centarch, etc. There are also Senior Decarchs, senior Ducinators, etc in each unit, the latter being a sort of "Sergeant Major" ranking. "Senior" is usually designated with "Proto" (the "new" method) or "Primus" (the "old" title) - note, however, that Mandators outrank Protomandators.

Privates (Strators) are also known by their unit type or troop type (for example, members of the Tagmata of the Excubitors are known as Excubiti, Cataphracts are heavy cavalrymen, a Trapezetos is a light cavalryman, a Scoutatos is a heavy infantryman, and a Psilos is a light infantryman).

Officers and NCOs can thus be referred to as, for example, a "Pentarch of Trapezetoi" or "Centarch of the Scholae", which also creates a rough hierarchy, depending upon precedence of troop type or esteem of the unit in question (Scholae, for example, are the premiere unit of the Empire, ranking behind only the Hetaereia Augustiana and the Sacred Guard). The commander of the Empire's main mercenary force (the Antalian Guard) has the rank of Akolouthos rather than Strategos or Domestic, his deputy is known as a Domestic, but ranks in precedence with a Hypostrategos (Lieutenant General) rather than Marshal (though he is the most senior among the Hypostrategoi).

Referring to a Carabisor as a Strator is usually a good way to start one of those staples of RPGs, the bar-room brawn.

Hypostrategoi are deputies of Strategoi, for example. Domestics are only found in a few units, and mainly replace Strategoi in those units.

Chartularies are pretty uncommon, actually. Tribunes serve as deputy commanders of Cohorts, under either Praetors or Praefects (never both in any one unit).

In other words, in actual practice the rank system is even more bizarre and unfathomable than it looks: it isn't really exactly like that found in modern armies; the "chain of command" is clear, but the various ranks are used differentially and not uniformly.

A Pentarch is a commander of 5 troops in a squad of 10, the Decarch is the squad leader - he acts, in effect as the Pentarch in the other half of the squad.
By the way, for those the "five" and "ten" include themselves - so in any squad you get 1 Decarch, 1 Pentarch, and 8 Soldiers. In effect, the Decarch is the "Squad Leader" and the Pentarch is his "deputy".