How do you make sure that your minions are capable enough to deal with your enemies, but not about to betray you for the throne?

How do you make sure that your minions are capable enough to deal with your enemies, but not about to betray you for the throne?

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  1. Keep them preoccupied by fighting amongst themselves, bestow your favor on the loyal ones and brutally remove the disloyal. It will take care of itself until you die.

  2. Capability and intent aren’t the same thing. If they betray me then they get to all fight over the throne, and by the end of it they’re probably not going to have very much fun and probably not be very rich. But as long as I’m in charge, the spoils will be divided – not equally, not anything like equally, but equally enough that none of them stands to lose too much.

    And then you get into the internal security aspect of it. Starting my own opposition among the less competent of my followers, so that those who do try to overthrow me actually work for me! – There won’t be just one plot to assassinate Puzzle, there’ll be dozens of plots! People who want to kill me won’t know who to trust! Heads I win, tails you lose. – My favourite sort of game.

  3. Ensure they are robots and have a broadcast killswitch and a “friendly switch” that only you have access to.

    Ensure the enemies know the robots are programmed to become fully anti-biological if the “friendly switch” is not activated by your multiple biometrics, daily. This protects you from any harm since you’re the only one who can keep the robots from literally shredding everything in sight if they don’t get a ping from you. Keep the killswitch a secret, even though nobody else could trigger it anyway.

  4. You give them land. You tell them to give out their land to the peasants, and in return raise an army for the king.

    You implement taxes on the peasantry. Your “minions” are the nobility in this case, and thus won’t be taxed. You give the job of tax collecting and administration to nobles’ sons, who in turn work directly in your bureaucratic network. You form alliances with foreigners and with the aristocracy.

    What’s the biggest motivator to get people to fight for you? Wealth. Implore your options and set out for conquest. A healthy aristocracy will thank you for looking out for them. Make your citizens rich and prosper.

    This is all in a pre-modern sense, but works universally if done right.

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