Effects of warfare on your world War is perhaps the most influential force of sentient races. Every story will center around war in one way or another, and war with have an impact on trade, history, religion, and culture. Many people have the idea that war is the way it’s always been, aside from technology, and that people hated war a thousand years ago as much as we hate it now. This idea is simply not correct, and the way a culture views and carries out war can have a significant impact on how cultures interact, how the world functions, and how their culture is shaped. So first thing’s first. Are there different types of warfare? Why yes, Yes there are! The two broadest classifications of warfare are Conventional and Unconventional. Conventional Warfare, or CW, is the standard definition of war. Two nations go to war with each other and fight with standard weapons and tactics. Unconventional Warfare, UW, is the other, its goal being “to instill a belief that peace and security are not possible without compromise or concession.” It strives in induce war weariness in the other side, through various, more clandestine tactics. Basically, war differs in whether you are trying to beat the enemy outright, or by trying to beat the enemy in the minds of its people. Beyond these two major types, other types exist, some named, some not. Guerilla warfare: Consists of small, sporadic skirmishes between two powers. It is classified by employing ambushes, sabotage, and other “dishonorable” tactics. Generally attributed to Terrorists and Freedom Fighters. Napoleonic warfare: This style of warfare involves large armies, using various post-Industrial weapons in standard formations, and also with high organization of troops, as well as swift movements. Trench warfare: Each side digs into the earth and creates a series of tunnels and ditches to hide in, with a hellish “no man’s land” in between. In this style, victory is measured in mere feet. IMPORTANT: Obsolete with tanks. Phalanx warfare: This specific type of warfare is the war tactics of the Greek City-States. This involved the fighting of tightly packed formations of spearmen, with brisling pikes pointed in the direction of an enemy. Bows? Cowardly. Swords? Only if they get past the spears. Cavalry? Rarely. Medieval warfare: The standard ways of fighting with swords, bows, and siege engines. This involves tactical planning, the use of siege and arrows before the main melee chaos, and some basic formations. Armies are varied. Roman warfare: This is the sword and spear equivalent of Napoleonic warfare. This is characterized by tight, packed formations, disciplined troops, and an emphasis on working together as a unit than on individual performance as a warrior. Ceremonial Warfare: What? Ceremonial? Yes. Believe it or not, some cultures, namely the Aztecs, fought wars for no other reason than to obtain captives for sacrifice, often fought simply to please the gods and provide sacrifices, not from political disagreements. These wars are fought not for victory, but for captives, and are the most unusual style of warfare to Most modern individuals. In addition to how war is fought, it also matters WHY it is fought. There are no neat categories for this, but different cultures had different views. For example, The Aztecs saw war as a religious ceremony, meant to please the gods. The Romans saw wars as a preemptive way to prevent other cultures from catching them off guard. The Japanese and Europeans of the middle ages saw wars as opportunities for honor and glory for those who fought well. In later eras, wars were seen as political disputes, ways for nations to settle their disagreements. And from the modern era, Pacifism has taken root, the belief that war is evil and should be avoided. Now the big question: Why in the world does all this matter? Well, it actually matters a great deal. One major question to ask is: What technological level are most of my civilizations at? This will often affect the type of warfare used, but it DOES NOT HAVE TO. Once you’ve decided this, it will lead to such things as “How does War affect the planet? How does this nation view war? How does the world as a whole view war? Are there international agreements concerning war? Do all nations follow them? These questions are important, because they can alter history, evolution, and human (or any other sentient species) development significantly! For example, Let us say we have two nations. Dee and Dah. Dee uses archaic weaponry, and is fond of trench warfare, as well, and also view war as a religious ceremony and a chance for honor and glory. Dah uses Victorian era technology, and favors Napoleonic warfare, and sees war as a way to extend its power and influence. The way these two nations approached battle, and their entire ways of life, would be significantly different. Dee would have far less of an impact as far as pollution would be concerned, however, because war is seen as way to gain honor and glory, it would likely affect their social structure, the warrior class being very influential, and the attributes of their gods. Vice Versa, Dah would have much more impact on pollution and shaping the earth with its canons and explosives, and their civilization would not be as influenced by the process of war, perhaps not even having a warrior class at all. (and if chemical/biological weapons, perhaps even magic, were added to this mix, it would affect all of the species on the planet, including the nations that deployed them!) War is influential, and you have to think about how it affects a nation. Wars can inhibit or advance technological pursuits, and it can poison an entire area, such as with nuclear war. IT can affect the social structure and culture of a nation, and can lead to world impacting events, possibly even the extinction of a sentient race. War is more than just beating the enemy with a club. For some, it is a way of life, for others, a horror to be avoided, but it always has an influence on the peoples that use it.