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An Infantry unit may be promoted to Knight or Warlord,Erf-b3-p27 a Warlord to Chief Warlord, a Caster to Chief Caster, and a Courtier to Chief of Staff. Other promotion paths may be possible; the restrictions are not known.
It is also possible to promote a unit without actually changing its rank, such as how Parson was able to promote himself from a garrison unit to a field unit,Erf-b2-p42 and hobgobwins to heavies.Erf-b2-p48
Some Royal sides, such as Jetstone and Delkey, frown on this tactic, due to their belief that a unit's full potential is available and decided when they pop. From their perspective, a stabber or archer may be good for fighting since that is what they were popped for, but would never learn to make good strategists.
From lowest to highest, the ranks are:
- Soldier (Infantryman, cavalryman, or equivalent)
- Elite (Knight)
- Captain (when there's multiple warlords)
- Chief Warlord
For Ship, the ranks seem to go:
- Non-Seafarers (usually uncrewed)
- Seafarers (uncrewed)
- Seafarers (crewed)
- Night Helmsman (position presumed)
- Third Officer (position presumed)
- Second Officer (can be Helmsman or Navigator)
- First Officer (can be Helmsman or Navigator)
- Fleet Admiral
A Unit may be promoted from any lower rank to any higher rank. It is not possible to be promoted above Chief Warlord, since the only position higher is Ruler, and that position requires a vacancy, in which case other rules concerning a Heir and barbarism are involved.
This applies only to a direct military line of promotion. Noble titles, such as Duke or Count, are permanent and altogether separate from military rank. Likewise, a unit cannot be promoted to Caster, nor can a Caster become Chief Warlord.
A barbarian Warlord may claim a City and thereby become a Ruler, but this is not a promotion, because the Warlord is responsible for his or her own rise in rank, and the position is not granted by a higher authority.
- Henchman: "Henchman" is used as an honourific for low-rank unitsErf-b1-p4.
- Lackey: Bogroll was promoted to Parson's lackeyErf-b1-p-p28, indicating that a Lackey is of higher rank than a Henchman.
There also exist other more common terms like private, sergeant, and captain (army) for ground forces. Troops seems to mean the same as soldiers. In Duke Forecastle, a rigger is heard yelling confirmation orders and passing them along. There seems to be an unspoken or just plain subtle hierarchy to how the military is run. It is possible that's there are lower ranks to eliminate some confusion among the "enlisted" men perhaps based on seniority or level. This would make sense as auto-engaging units may otherwise try to yell over each other to pass on orders. If such ranks exist is a formal sense, they may not be mentioned because they are "free" promotions in a way that's similar to the position of chief warlord.
Ensign seems to be a general term for all lower officers on a ship. The three helmsmen and Cat Harping were referred to as ensign despite Cat being higher ranked than the helmsmen and Carrack being higher ranked than Collier and Dromond. The first officer is either not considered an ensign or Joseph Forecastle didn't qualify as an ensign since he was a non-seafarer. Speaking of which, the deck officer (Chief mate/first mate), second officer, and captain don't need to be seafarers and the captain can be an admiral. It is unknown if a non-seafarer can be admiral, but we can assume that the answer is yes they can be.
See Unit for more details.