In the world presented by R. E. Howard the individual soldier, whether infantryman or king, drives the conflict. An individual can change the battle's tide with a strong arm and sharp steel. Armies may surge around him, thousands may die, but the hero takes centre-stage.
Just as importantly the clash of armies rarely dominates R. E. Howard's stories. When armies do battle they demonstrate not the tactical genius of the characters, but their relative power. The faceless spear-carriers provide bloody testimony to whom stands supreme among the powers of the world.