Anyone checking deeper into the Council of Barons on Fletnern will start to see that the “standing armies” of these baronies are listed at incredibly low numbers. Forsbury is listed as having 300 and this is considered the largest standing army in the Council. So if Baron Forsbury wants to invade his neighbor, does this mean that he either travels with less than 300 guys or brings a militia? Not necessarily.
So where do the rest of his troops come from? Well, Baron Forsbury is an unusual case. He is a Cattle Baron and as such has vast herds roaming his lands. Those herds are controlled by cowboys, all of whom have been trained for battle. Now they are considered light cavalry or even raiders in a military sense. These are not knights mounted on horses! But they are some of the most skilled horsemen and not too bad with their crossbows.
For the more “normal” noblemen, here are some thoughts: Most small towns are going to have sheriffs and deputies. These are trained military men, but they are not part of the “army”. Similar comments could be made about the tax collectors, the jailors, the forest wardens, even the dog trainers and hunt master. Almost every able bodied man who is employed at the castle is likely trained at least to some degree in the ways of war. This may not be true for the cooks and butlers, but it might be.
The issue is that few lands can afford to have standing armies of great size where all the soldiers do is stand post. They have to be doing something that actively needs to be done. Now you might think we’re splitting hairs. Is the soldier standing post at the border and helping the tax collector part of the army? Not always. He might be a tax collector, a customs agent, a policeman, or any number of other jobs. When a modern army goes off to war, the border agents stay on the borders, but when one of my fantasy militaries marches, the border agents, tax collectors, and bailiffs suit up and march right along.
So what do I suggest you do? First, figure out what the army is expected to do. Are they the police as well? Do they guard the royals and the walls? Is the smith maintaining the weapons part of the army? Is he expected to fight in the field or just travel with them to maintain equipment? Why? because if you don’t know what is expected of them, then you don’t know what is expected of their leaders. If the General is in charge of only the standing forces, he may need to use politics to get the proper equipment instead of simply ordering his logistics unit to order or manufacture it. Does it matter? Yeah - Generals who worry only about training troops to fight are completely different types of leaders then if they need to manage the cooks and cobblers too.
I know - If you’re playing a game where the “fighter” becomes a lord simply because he passed some threshold of experience and his army shows up out of nowhere, you may not care about things like leadership, tactics, or logistics. You don’t care that the “lord” is a complete moron who can’t even write his own name, as long as his strength attribute modifiers grant him extra damage. But the rest of us understand that there are different types of leaders. Some can manage the day-to-day business of an army, and some cannot. Knowing how to get an army into the field and properly fed is vastly more important than whether they have super strength, but I guess that’s lost on some of the gold farmers out there.