Amber: Something Wicked
Amber’s land based military is organized on the Regimental System. (wiki it)
A regiment’s patron is its ‘Colonel in Chief’. Its commander is its ‘colonel’.
Colonels command regiments which they either raise, have inherited or are given by the King. The King can disband any regiment (or other military unit) as he pleases, or create them and be colonel-in-chief himself, or authorize their creation. The Crown usually pays at least half of the costs of supporting a regiment. Incompetent colonels are encouraged to resign. It’s been centuries since anyone refused.
The greater clans, noble houses and trading magnates sometimes raise regiments with royal permission. These receive Crown support and some training. They can also raise forces as they please so long as said forces stay far from Amber and don’t war on other Amber subjects. Unduly. Oberon did on occasion requisition these independent units for the Crown’s use. Their owners were usually compensated to some degree. It’s good to be the King.
All of the Princes and Princesses are colonels in chief to one or more regiments, which they pay for themselves. (Almost all the royals get a piece of the action for any trade route they open for a trading company. Even a small piece is a lot of money.) Florimel, for instance, maintains three companies of archers and two of light cavalry in various Golden Circle shadows. (Flora is good at shopping and commercial exploration.)
Benedict was Oberon’s Grand Marshal, with authority over any crown unit not directly under the King’s control. Eric is his own Grand Marshal.
The Northern and Southern fleets belong to the King.
Captain General and Admiral positions are temporary and associated with a particular campaign, with three exceptions.
—The Warden of Arden is a permanent generalship, usually under the command of a Prince, currently Julian. Julian is also colonel in chief of five Forester regiments and a dozen or so sepoy/allied regiments in Farther Arden. His medium cavalry regiment runs road patrols in Arden.
—The Northern and Southern Admiralties are permanent positions. These Fleets are the only real purpose-built warships in the Amber Navy. (The bulk of the fleet in wartime will be requisitioned commercial ships.) Gerard is currently Northern Admiral, Caine is currently Southern Admiral and both are busy with sea-bourn incursions these days.
Princes and Princesses commanding in the field will always have an aide who keeps a Trump of them at all times, as the King may call them away to consult. The aide will then contact his commander at set intervals or in emergencies. Under Oberon no Princess was allowed to command more than one regiment (even of their own) at a time in battle.
When mass armies are needed they are usually hired, ‘stolen’ or found in dire straits and given offers they can’t refuse. For cannon fodder the Princes prefer religious fanatics, especially ones that are causing trouble in the Golden Circle.