A stack being led by a Commander can fight in a directed manner, and can also abstain from fighting. An unled stack in contact with non-allied forces will auto-attack.Erf-b1-p040a
The term Commander is used in two separate ways. The actual rank of Commander indicates that a unit has the ability to lead a stack in combat. All such units, including Casters, Warlords, and Chief Warlords, are periodically called Commander by their associates and superiors as a title. The exception would be Rulers, who can lead troops and are therefore Commanders, but whose higher rank and title would prevent anyone ever calling them "Commander."
In Klog #4Erf-b1-p040a, Parson states, 'any unit with leadership ability is called a "Commander" or "Warlord".' In Klog #10Erf-b1-p084a, Parson states that 'Only Warlords have leadership.' This presents two conflicting statements about the same subject. There are multiple resolutions to this problem.
Warlords are called "Commander" periodically. Parson is speaking only of Warlords in Klog #4, but due to his inexperience with titles he has confused the term "Commander" used as a title with that of the official rank of "Commander". Commanders do not have leadership because he was not using "Commander" as a rank.
Parson gained new knowlddge between Klog #4 and Klog #10 that clarified the situation. This is similar to the "Rations pop at dawn" situation. Commanders do not have leadership because Klog #10 is correcting incorrect information in Klog #4.
"Only Warlords have leadership" has been taken out of context. The full quote is, "He told me that Casters are Commanders, and can lead stacks, but they almost never do. Casters are too rare and valuable to risk, and they give no leadership bonus to the stack anyway. Only Warlords have leadership.
Makes sense. Except for certain exceptions. Like, say... the bonus those golems get if they're led by a Dirtamancer. Or the huge one to Uncroaked units being led by a Croakamancer(!)."
In context, the conflicting statement is sandwiched between two statements about Leadership bonuses. It is stated that Cammaonders, Casters included, can perform leadership functions despite having a leadership of 0. From that knowledge, it follows that [i]Only Warlords confer a leadership bonus to troops that they lead.[/u] Rob may have intended "Only Warlords have leadership" to be synonymous with this statement. Commanders have Leadership, because Klog #10 has been taken out of context.
Duty is one of the three effects of Natural Thinkamancy (besides Obedience and Loyalty) that a Ruler exerts on all his subjects. Duty affects Commanders only. Has greater effect on Warlords, and greatest on Chief Warlords. (And therefore the least effect on Casters.) Duty requires Commanders to use their own initiative in the service of the Ruler. Another effect of Duty is that Commanders cannot withhold information and cannot conspire against the Ruler.Erf-b1-p084a
Use as a Title
Word "Commander" is used as a title to address Warlords and, occasionally, Casters. In this sense words "Warlord" and "Commander" seem to be used interchangeably, although Commander seems to express more respect.
Stanley addresses Wanda as CommanderErf-b1-p017, Wanda addresses Parson as Commander Erf-b1-p019, Jillian addresses Webinar as CommanderErf-b1-p050, Webinar addresses Jillian as WarlordErf-b1-p050, Ansom addresses Jillian almost exclusively as CommanderErf-b1-p056Erf-b1-p056Erf-b1-p073Erf-b1-p080, Jaclyn addresses Jillian as Commander Erf-b1-p066, another archon addresses Jillian as WarlordErf-b1-p069.