- "Sergeant" redirects here. For other uses of the term, see Sergeant (disambiguation).
The Yendorian army is a group of humans encountered in NetHack. According to their encyclopedia entry, they are employed and often trained directly by the Wizard of Yendor himself. The Yendorian army is composed of:
- @ soldiers
- @ sergeants
- @ lieutenants
- @ captains
All Yendorian Army members are chaotic, are not valid polymorph forms, and can follow the player to other levels; like other humans, they do not respect Elbereth. They have low monster magic resistance, and possess at least one weapon attack per turn; lieutenants and captains are capable of two per turn.
Yendorian army soldiers and sergeants are frequently generated in small groups. Barracks are special rooms populated entirely by mercenaries; very large contingents of soldiers and barracks are guaranteed to appear in the castle and Fort Ludios.
Ordinary soldiers have a 1⁄3 chance of being generated with a random weapon from the set of all polearms, plus lances and mattocks; if this is the case, they will always get either a knife or a dagger as a secondary weapon, with equal probability. Otherwise, a plain soldier's primary weapon will have be either an ordinary spear or an ordinary short sword with equal probability; these soldiers have a 3⁄4 chance of taking a knife as a secondary weapon.
Higher-ranked soldiers randomly take one of two primary weapons, with equal probability. Sergeants choose either a flail or a mace; lieutenants choose either an ordinary broadsword or a long sword; and captains choose either a long sword or a silver saber. All of these higher-ranked soldiers also have a 3⁄4 chance of taking a knife as a secondary weapon.
Each rank of soldier has a particular target AC as follows:
The game uses a complicated procedure to outfit each mercenary with a selection of armor giving roughly the target AC. If the soldier is unlucky, they might be given less armor; if they are lucky, they might be given enchanted armor that takes them beyond the target. Each mercenary is generated with one suit of body armor, and will always receive leather armor at bare minimum. All ranks are eligible for ring mail or studded leather armor; sergeants and above are eligible for splint mail or banded mail; and lieutenants and captains are eligible for plate mail or crystal plate mail. In addition, soldiers of all ranks may be randomly generated with any of the items from the following list:
In addition, soldiers of all ranks may be randomly generated with any of the items from the following list:
There is no guarantee that any particular non-body armor slot will be filled; soldiers can be given multiple items for any slot.
Soldiers of all ranks have a 1⁄3 chance of being generated with a K-ration, and an independent 1⁄2 chance of being generated with a C-ration. Sergeants and above also have a 1⁄3 chance of being generated with a bugle. Unlike all other monster types, ordinary soldiers have only a 1⁄13 chance to be generated with random defensive items, miscellaneous items, and gold; other ranks are unaffected.
The usual tactics for handling groups of monsters applies; drawing soldiers into a corridor is effective for both reducing vulnerability and thinning their ranks, especially since they will likely be caught in the path of their allies' attack wands. However, said wands also make them potentially dangerous to face without reflection or magic resistance in later levels, especially Fort Ludios; on the other hand, a strong enough player can also use them as a source of such wands if so desired. As a majority of soldiers normally wear gloves, they can wield cockatrice corpses against you; be wary of this if you kill one in their presence, especially in Gehennom.
Due to the potential frequency of barracks outside of the guaranteed set in the Castle, soldiers may become extinct in a game where you reach Fort Ludios.
In addition to wands, the armor, weapons and items dropped from killing Yendorian army fighters are a good source of polyfodder and can also replace your own eroded or lower-enchantment armor. In addition, their corpses will keep you carnivorous pet full, and are plentiful food sources; you can stash the C-rations and K-rations for later use, since they take only one turn to eat. Additionally, non-humans and human Cavemen can get half a food ration's worth of nutrition from eating their corpses without worrying about cannibalism.
Yendorian Army soldiers, as well as any monster with the
M2_MERC flag in their code, can be bribed by throwing a certain amount of gold at them, turning them peaceful. Bribing a soldier can be used to block off a hallway in areas such as the Castle; hostile monsters will not route their movement past peaceful ones. This can then be used to herd and eliminate groups of monsters with other crowd control strategies—a knight can pound away at foes with a lance without disturbing the peaceful merc between them, and wizards can cast skilled fireball or cone of cold with impunity. This will not stop teleporting or covetous foes, and the soldier can still die from enemy ranged attacks - a human shield won't do much good against a black dragon's disintegration breath.
The soldiers of Yendor are well-trained in the art of war,
many trained by the Wizard himself. Some say the soldiers
are explorers who were unfortunate enough to be captured,
and put under the Wizard's spell. Those who have survived
encounters with soldiers say they travel together in platoons,
and are fierce fighters. Because of the load of their combat
gear, however, one can usually run away from them, and doing
so is considered a wise thing.