(Recommended Classes: Hunters, Burglars and select others based on RP)
The Eored of the West Mark favors a specialized, small unit for its speed and mobility to gain valuable information about the terrain and enemy before sending the main body of troops into the area. This unit makes up the Mearcwardas or Scouts of the Eored.
Commanded by its own Maegisterwigend the Mearcwardas have many roles, including:
As a pathfinder the scout provides advance reconnaissance, exploring beyond the area occupied by friendly forces to gain vital information about travel routes, terrain, indigenous wildlife and enemy forces for later analysis and/or dissemination.
Pathfinders are well versed in survival skills including navigation, tracking, camouflage, escape and evasion, as well as tactical knowledge in defensive positioning, probing, covering force, ambush, sabotage and exploitation.
Some missions the Pathfinder scouts may be armed only for self-defense, and rely on stealth to gather information. Others are well-enough armed to deny information to the enemy by destroying their advance scout elements or for ambush and probe hit and run tactics.
Pathfinder scouts may employ offensive force as a tactic used specifically to probe an enemy's disposition. By mounting an offensive with considerable (but not decisive) force, the scouts hope is to elicit a strong reaction by the enemy that reveals its own strength, deployment, and other tactical data. The commander then retains the option to fall back with the information or expand the conflict into a full engagement.
Other methods consist of hit-and-run tactics using rapid mobility light-armored scouts to harass and weaken the enemy and/or lure them into a trap or ambush.
The Pathfinder may also be utilized for solo missions and may include infiltration and specific target elimination missions.
A Skirmisher role is often carried out by the Eored scouts as light infantry or cavalry elements stationed ahead or alongside the larger body of the Eored. They are usually placed in a skirmish line and used to harass opposing forces.
Skirmishers typically carry bows, javelins, slings, and other ranged weapons and sometimes light shields. Acting as light infantry with their light arms and minimal armor, they can move ahead of the main battle force, release a volley of arrows, javelins etc and retreat behind their main battle line before the clash of the opposing main forces. The aims of skirmishing is to disrupt enemy formations by causing injury, fear and casualties before the main battle, and to tempt the opposing force into attacking prematurely, throwing their organization into disarray and baiting them into traps and ambushes.
Once preliminary skirmishing is over, skirmishers participated in the main battle by providing ranged support and flanking maneuvers.