10. It’s easier to train hard (in armour, with sharp, pointy weapons) with people who love you, rather than people who want to kill you.
Or even out of armor. No one likes taking a cudgel to the head.
9. In negotiating contracts, you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.
Make sure to set clear contractual goals in a pleasant manner. Demands only make it more likely that they will hire someone else.
8. Experience shows that each hired killer has to be dealt with as an individual with his or her own murderous needs and aspirations to glory.
George, it you kill three archers today you get promoted. Seven archers and we can talk about moving you out of the stable.
7. Sometimes employers are slow to pay. The Captain gets to explain this to the boys and girls.
Obfuscation is key. Make sure to keep talking about retainers and percentages and this will buy you enough time to do the proper shaking down.
6. Sometimes (usually) employers like to play divide et impera (divide and rule) with mercenary companies. Social skills can help you build the cohesion to keep your people together.
Again, remember that they are paying you for YOUR pointy weapons. If they had pointy weapons, they wouldn’t need you in the first place.
5. Adversaries will often attempt to bribe your people. They are, after all, mercenaries. Social skills—and even a modicum of, dare I say it, trust—can keep them on your side and at your back.
Keep you enemies closer than your friends but never let your friends too far out of eyesight.
4. Hired killers often require motivation as much as any other group of craftspeople.
I really like the way you have been handling that battleaxe George. Looking real good.
3. Staff meetings run much better if the officers communicate well, and struggle for corporate clarity when violence is the only mode of exchange. That is, when all the officers want to kill each other.
Martha, you get to lead out the raiding party tomorrow. Yes, I know you are better at it than Steve, but it’s his turn.
2. It is easier to receive scouting reports when you listen instead of talking.
Honestly, I don’t care about how many monsters are hidden in the woods. I want to talk about my feelings for a moment.
1. And most important of all, in battle, when the air around you is full of steel, it’s good to feel some of it is on your side.
George, I CANNOT thank you enough for taking that man’s head off in one swing. Wonderful work.
Is a military veteran and historian.
He has a degree in Medieval History and lives with his wife and daughter in the most multi-cultural city in the world. There is also a cat. So far, no horse.
Mile’s first book, The Red Knight, can be purchased here.
Miles forthcoming book, The Fell Sword, will be released this December.