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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    Still about the chariot...

    So I went back to some sources and I made some quick assumption based on half remembered readings.

    I still stand by my general depiction but...

    First they were three main tactical use of the chariot, as a charging force, as a weapon platform and as a transport of chiefs or warriors.

    Then I did not mention the organized and more or less centralized societies like Sumer or Egypt.

    So for more precision, the early battlewagons, four-wheeled like in Sumer, were armed with Javelin and some contact weapons. The wagon would charge the ennemies and panic them, throwing the javelins in closing them then engaging with axes or sicles sword.

    By the late Bronze Age, the bow would become the main weapon but I'm not sure how it will affect the tactics.

    Some two-wheelers would exist but they seem to be mostly not equipped with weapons.

    In fact some technical developments were necessary around the second millenium BC to lighten the chariot, mainly steam bent wood technics. The most famous example is the Egyptian chariot.

    The crew of two men would consist of an shield-bearer as charioteer and a lightly equipped warrior, using a bow, some short spears and the khopesh.

    The bow cas were placed to fit the hand of the warrior. Also relevant to the idea of elite warriors is the fact that those fighters were actually organized as an elite not only in the army but in the Egyptian society.

    The Egyptians were mostly using their javelins and arrows, and preventing contact as much as possible. They were intended as weapon platform. But the runners, infantry intending to follow the chariots, would also be integral in his use. They would shield the chariots, achieve the fallen adversaries or engage their disorganized forces.

    The hittites on the other hand would use a thrusting spear and charge the opposing forces. At least according to some. With three men, it was mostly a fighting platform and some argue it would not really charge but go to close combat with lighter forces.

    At first it would use arrows but the spear and the third man was added by the time of Quaddesh. At this point the battle would often dissolve in a kind of melee with some chariots stopped and some still rolling, thus putting an emphasis on close combat weapons.

    minorant chariots would also use a thrusting spear. There is engraving of the use of bows but in hunting scene, so it seem not to have been used in war. By the time of the acheans, the picture is less clear. There is no evidence of its use in actual combat. It my have been a taxi or a commanding platform.

    The mythological sources are unclear and may refer more to hunting scenes than war. And that's my bad. I draw too much upon those memories.

    Celtics chariot are a special problem, as they were used for quite some time. But they have a composite armament of javelin, thrusting spears and close combat weapons. They seem to have been used accordingly in various roles. They were also war-taxis and commanding platforms.

    Still, the Halstatt princes show the great cultural importance of those warriors, their richness and status.

    As limited by terrain as it was, the charriot would actually see a lot of different uses.

  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    So there's a story I'm working on that involves a rebellion against a tyrant with an army of golden soldiers- not D&D style of a specific type, more like unintelligent warforged. They're basically suits of armor with some ceramic part mixed in for the magical purpose of the clay.

    The big question I have is about weapon choice and style for the rebels. As far as I can imagine, blunt weapons would be about the only effective option to fight them, since I don't know of any melee piercing or cutting weapons that could reliably penetrate thick armor plating, especially with clay reinforcing in place of flesh - not to mention the lack of blood or vital organs.

    The problem is, I feel like blunt weapons can be really restrictive on fighting style- every attack needs a large swing to build up force. Hammers and maces and such are pretty similar to my knowledge in this way. In fact, the only blunt weapon I can really see used with much skill is a staff - again, something that might not be able to reliably damage a construct.

    Does anybody know more about this that might be able to dispel my misconceptions or offer suggestions on how to work around it?
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  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    You could look at two-handed flails. While I don’t know if it satisfies your requirement for skill involved, it would fit nicely into a theme with rebels (farmers) using tools they’re vaguely familiar with, and the two handed flail creates a lot of force on impact. The Hussites fielded peasant foot soldiers with flails during the late middle ages, you could look into that if you like. I could see a team of rebels, some working with shields and picks and some with flails, working together to take down a mindless golem/warforged.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    A slight aside on the chariot, the Persians, despite being known as peerless horsemen, were charioteers. Persian kings rode into battle on a chariot, not on horseback, and when they originally invaded the Iranian Plateau, it was as a mob of charioteers, not herds of horsemen.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by Epimethee View Post
    First they were three main tactical use of the chariot, as a charging force, as a weapon platform and as a transport of chiefs or warriors.
    The Spring and Autumn period of China (11th - 3rd Century BC) made good use of chariots for all three purposes you've listed, although they generally weren't used as battle taxis.

    They were 2-4 horse pulled, with a crew of at least 3 - driver, close protection guy armed with a ge (dagger-axe early polearm) and 1 or more archers/crossbowmen. They were also often used by officers and generals as command platforms since they could get about the battlefield more quickly plus the commander could focus more on the battle than on horseback.

    The chariot improved (lighter materials, more efficient design, horses getting armoured, the ge getting upgraded to a ji or halberd) as the Spring and Autumn period progresses, with them reaching their zenith of design and usage during the Warring States period (5th - 3rd Century BC), although their use persisted until the later Three Kingdoms (~3rd century AD).

    From the depictions in the Terracotta army, the 3rd Century BC Qin kingdom (later dynasty) used 3-4 horse chariots, delineated into 4 separate roles: common, command, superior and assistant. The general of the army rode in the command chariot while the more senior officers rode in the superior. These two chariots types were supported by the assistant chariots while the common chariot was the rank and file.
    They generally had 3-4 men per chariot, with the commanders taking one of the archer/crossbowmen slots.

    Spoiler: Terracotta army superior/command chariot
    Show
    You can tell this one is for the officers because of the umbrella. :p


    Note that the Terracotta Army chariots are 1:2 scale models of the real things. The driver was generally a very big bloke and well armoured.

    Their deployment varied - the Western Zhou (11th -8th Century BC) used chariots as a tactical unit of 10 men per chariot, 5 riding and 5 infantry, called a duì (隊/队) or squadron. Five squadrons made up a zhengpian (正偏), four zhengpian formed a shī (师) or division and five divisions were known as a jun (军) or army.
    Last edited by Brother Oni; 2018-10-21 at 06:08 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by Gideon Falcon View Post
    So there's a story I'm working on that involves a rebellion against a tyrant with an army of golden soldiers- not D&D style of a specific type, more like unintelligent warforged. They're basically suits of armor with some ceramic part mixed in for the magical purpose of the clay.

    The big question I have is about weapon choice and style for the rebels. As far as I can imagine, blunt weapons would be about the only effective option to fight them, since I don't know of any melee piercing or cutting weapons that could reliably penetrate thick armor plating, especially with clay reinforcing in place of flesh - not to mention the lack of blood or vital organs.

    The problem is, I feel like blunt weapons can be really restrictive on fighting style- every attack needs a large swing to build up force. Hammers and maces and such are pretty similar to my knowledge in this way. In fact, the only blunt weapon I can really see used with much skill is a staff - again, something that might not be able to reliably damage a construct.

    Does anybody know more about this that might be able to dispel my misconceptions or offer suggestions on how to work around it?
    I think that piercing weapons would be a lot better than blunt weapons. I can think of a few kinds: estocs, which are swords projected to exclusively hit with the point and to penetrate armour; rondel daggers (actually mostly used to hit the least defended spots); spiked warhammers; bills; lances to be used from horseback; halberds; crossbows. You can also jump the enemies, throw them to the ground, immobilize them, and drive a spike into their armour with a maul. But the question, of course, is how thick the armour is, of which kind, and of which material. I mean, do these monsters have weak spots to allow for movement, or are they made of magical gold that can be as elastic as human skin?

    By the way, I remember that, some time ago, I posted an image of a hunting party, I think from the xvi century, and someone observed that there was a guy half-swording a bear. Apparently, it was fashionable to hunt with estocs, which often were used while half-swording. An adjutant would then strike the bear with a spear to make sure it died before it could kill the swordsman. later, to avoid overpenetration and keep the beast at a distance, hunting estocs were developed, resembling boar spears. http://www.swordforum.com/forums/att...1&d=1108244493

  7. - Top - End - #67
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    DnD's whole animated armour/skeletons are vulnerable to bashing thing is really quite misleading utter bollocks. Especially when blunt damage would just knock pieces off, whilst more precise damage would destroy those pieces.

    Slashing weapons would be bad against animated armour, ballistic weapons tend to fair worse against armour because there's less to keep them going in the same direction. But against your golden warriors... just don't slash, and anything will work.
    Maces/Hammers are a lot of wrist movement. They're not as simple as you'd think.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by Epimethee View Post
    The mythological sources are unclear and may refer more to hunting scenes than war. And that's my bad. I draw too much upon those memories.
    The chariot shows up all over the place in Hindu narratives, notably in the Bhagavad Gita, where Prince Arjuna rides one into battle with bow in hand, and the god Krishna makes an appearance as his charioteer. The chariot in general was pretty heavily used in India, which makes sense given the links between Persian and Aryan-Indian cultures.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gideon Falcon View Post
    The problem is, I feel like blunt weapons can be really restrictive on fighting style- every attack needs a large swing to build up force. Hammers and maces and such are pretty similar to my knowledge in this way. In fact, the only blunt weapon I can really see used with much skill is a staff - again, something that might not be able to reliably damage a construct.
    A big part of the technique of any bludgeoning weapon (any weapon, really, and even the empty hand) involves shortening the swing and generating more torque with less apparent movement. The feet, ankles, knees, hips, back, ribs, shoulder, elbow, wrist and fingers can all be used to generate power, and with skill, all can be used at the same time as part of a relatively small stroke. Even big strikes require serious technique to maximize their effectiveness, as a long, undisciplined swing may actually lose power through inefficiencies in the movement. The shape of the the actual war hammer in particular lends itself to a skilled user who knows how to bring their energy to a fine point.

    Every weapon can be used with skill: timing, footwork, awareness, and power generation are universal and fencing is only one (if probably the most robust) way those attributes are demonstrated. A sword or a light polearm gives you far more options than a heavy weapon, which means to fight well with a heavy weapon your fundamentals needs to be that much better (and to be clear, in an unarmored duel between two fighters of similar ability the sword or light polearm will probably win). One-handed mace or hammer is also almost always going to be accompanied by a shield, which provides a whole body of techniques on its own.

    And then of course you have stuff like the meteor hammer, which isn't exactly a practical battlefield weapon but jeez can you imagine getting hit by one of those things?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Jack View Post
    DnD's whole animated armour/skeletons are vulnerable to bashing thing is really quite misleading utter bollocks. Especially when blunt damage would just knock pieces off, whilst more precise damage would destroy those pieces.
    It would really depend on how durable the target is and what sort of arbitrary rules they follow. For the most part I agree: if an animated skeleton is just regular bone being held together at the joints by plastic wizard glue, you may as well just take an axe to it. As has been amply demonstrated in archaeological findings, bones do poorly against a steel edge and a stout swordarm. But what does killing a skeleton or a suit or animated armor even consist of? As soon as we get beyond, "you whack it until its health pebbles run out," we get into all sorts of stupid questions.
    Last edited by gkathellar; 2018-10-21 at 04:22 PM.
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  9. - Top - End - #69
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by Gideon Falcon View Post
    So there's a story I'm working on that involves a rebellion against a tyrant with an army of golden soldiers- not D&D style of a specific type, more like unintelligent warforged. They're basically suits of armor with some ceramic part mixed in for the magical purpose of the clay.

    The big question I have is about weapon choice and style for the rebels. As far as I can imagine, blunt weapons would be about the only effective option to fight them, since I don't know of any melee piercing or cutting weapons that could reliably penetrate thick armor plating, especially with clay reinforcing in place of flesh - not to mention the lack of blood or vital organs.

    The problem is, I feel like blunt weapons can be really restrictive on fighting style- every attack needs a large swing to build up force. Hammers and maces and such are pretty similar to my knowledge in this way. In fact, the only blunt weapon I can really see used with much skill is a staff - again, something that might not be able to reliably damage a construct.

    Does anybody know more about this that might be able to dispel my misconceptions or offer suggestions on how to work around it?
    I'm not sure that being limited to blunt damage is really going to change fighting style all that much. You will need to make sure that all the weapons you use have a pretty solid construction and that you make sure to put a good amount of power in each strike instead of going for a quick kill with cheeky thrusts at an enemy's unarmored parts. Although in battles involving many soldiers most wouldn't have much leisure time to concentrate on aiming where an enemy is unarmored anyways, and as a result battle often did involve some degree of repeatedly hitting the enemy on their armor really hard in the hopes that the build up of bruises and exhastion eventually causes them to give up. Hence why George Silver recommends "weapons of weight" in mixed melees instead of his half pike or forest bill.

    It's generally not as much use in a duel where the aim is to kill the other person, but a two-handed thrust with a blunt sledgehammer or axe can absolutely be used to knock someone onto their but. Similarly, long, sturdy spears or an equivalent blunt staff should still be useful for knocking an enemy back or holding him in place. If the polearm has forking or hooking elements at the end it can be used the same way, or to catch an enemy's weapon or limbs, to trip the enemy, or even to "teare armor" like di Grassi mentions.

    A blunt lance can still be somewhat useful on horseback as well, bernardino de Mendoza stated that once a lancer had broken his lance in combat, he could continue using the blunt end of the broken lance to unhorse opponents a couple more times. Trying to push opponents off their horse may have been the way a very stiff arming sword or estoc would be used from horseback as well if the point proved unable to penetrate the opponent's armor. From John Cruso's description of how 17th century cuirassiers should fight with their swords:

    ". . . to place the pummell of it upon his right thigh, and so with his right hand to direct or raise the point to his mark, higher or lower as occasion serveth: either at the bellie of the adverse horse-man (about the pummell of the saddle) or at his arm pits, or his throat, where if it pierce not, (as it is very like it will not fail, by slipping under the casque) yet meeting with a stay in that part of the bodie, where a man is very weak, and having a sword of a very stiffe blade, (as afore-said) it will doubtlesse unhorse him. Being past his enemie, he is to make a back-blow at him, aiming to cut the buckle of his pouldron, whereby he disarmeth one of his arms, &c."

    Also, as the last part mentions, many suits plate armor still included various leather straps which could be cut by a slash from the back or by a sharp blade that managed to work its way between the plates. Similary, repeated strong blows with something like a mace or hammer could sometimes cause pins or other fastenings to break, allowing pieces of armor to suddenly come lose or fall off.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    Hey, glad to see you guys got the thread back up

    So I had a question about naval tactics. Specifically, My D&D players have decided to go gallivanting off into the wonderful world of nautical exploration and naval combat. However, this the same campaign I was asking about last time (aliens with WWI-era tech invading the world), so this is quite problematic. My question is whether or not there would be anything the PCs could do with their 1690s-esque fortified Galleass against something akin to a Derfflinger class battlecruiser.

    I'm fairly sure the galleass is just toast in a straight on gunfight, but I was wondering if there was some sort of unconventional tactic that could be used to overcome the battlecruiser. Would boarding be an option, maybe?

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    Ship to ship, about as much chance as a child in a rowboat armed with a peashooter would have against the galleass. The disparity is vast.

    As a delivery mechanism for the PCs, either trickery or sailing over when the cruiser is moored at night might work.
    Last edited by Mr Beer; 2018-10-22 at 12:42 AM.
    Re: 100 Things to Beware of that Every DM Should Know

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    The only option I can think of that doesn't start with the PCs dieing from gun fire is if they infiltrate it by stealth.
    The Derfflinger really only need to score one hit with its lightest gun to completely destroy their galeass and it can can hit them at ranges where they can barely see it.
    Boarding doesn't seem like a good idea either since the Derfflinger has a crew of 1100 and a hefty selection of rifles, pistols and machine guns to arm them. Depending on the details of the setting they might also have SMGs and handgrenades.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    I'm fairly sure the galleass is just toast in a straight on gunfight, but I was wondering if there was some sort of unconventional tactic that could be used to overcome the battlecruiser. Would boarding be an option, maybe?
    The only thing I can think of is the PCs force the BC to chase them, then lead the BC over unfamiliar shallow waters where the shallower draft of their galleass (on average 12 - 15 ft or 4 - 5 m) can pass, but the much deeper draft of the BC (9.2 m) can't.

    The optimal clever plan would be to do this in a tidal zone while the tide is going out, so the BC can initially enter, but is then trapped or runs aground in the shoals as the tide recedes. In a typical fantasy setting, this would be even better if done at night if the PCs have night vision, while the BC is limited to their electric spot lights.

    The trick is then finding a suitable trap location and getting the BC to chase them while wanting them intact - maybe they've just snuck on the BC, kidnapped some critical hostages or stolen some mission critical items/equipment and fled (although not fleeing too hard)?
    Last edited by Brother Oni; 2018-10-22 at 07:14 AM.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    Yeah, there is a reason that the great European naval powers were able to push even China and Japan around for a while - the advantages of technological superiority are greatly magnified in naval combat. On the ground you can use the terrain to try to mitigate the advantage: constrain mobility, make use of cover, attack supply lines rather than the main force, and so on - but a more-advanced ship defines the terrain. It provides mobility, it IS cover, it is its own supply line, etc. Direct confrontation is not going to end well, and in that situation I would be looking to attack it at one more remove: hit its fuel supply dumps when it is away, figure out a way to mine likely approaches, anything but 'attack the ship itself.'

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    Thanks a ton, you gave me some great ideas. I think I can figure things out much better now.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    So how does command of an army (one of the 19th century, in particular) actually get accomplished? I've heard vague references to drums and bugles, but I'm not sure on the particulars. How much detail can you get in orders given by musical cues? How many distinct rhythms would soldiers be trained to memorize? Would those be army-specific? Would learning the meaning of enemy musical signals be an important piece of intelligence? At what point does command consist of an officer shouting things? I presume orders were sent to individual tactical units by runners or riders coming from the position of command staff. Was it common for such orders to be intercepted, or for message-bearers to be killed by random fire if trying to reach a unit on the front lines?

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    War and Peace has a bit of everything. There is a scene in which message bearers have to run from one side to the other of the front line. It is a dangerous job, and one messenger actually doesn't carry out the order because of fear. They aren't just anyone, iirc, they are aides to the command staff, some of them young nobles. There also is a scene in which prince Alexei takes the flag and attacks the enemy in an effort to rally others behind him.

    There is a story in Cuore in which a young drummer is sent as a messenger by the Italians during the Wars of Independence, and he gets shot by the Austrians and loses a leg.

    I think that drums were most important to have people march at the same pace, and that trumpets were used to give general information (wake up, go to sleep, charge now), but details were given by officers, and much went by imitation of your neighbor, or from hearing what lower officiers repeated. Flags were an important visual clue about where you were supposed to be.

    About battling a battlecruiser, I think that you need to build a wooden alpaca, stuff it with mashed potatoes, and spray the potatoes with some terribly infective and dangerous disease, like, I don't know, smallpox or ebola. Then pretend to be a group of natives and send the alpaca as a sign of submission.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    About battling a battlecruiser, I think that you need to build a wooden alpaca, stuff it with mashed potatoes, and spray the potatoes with some terribly infective and dangerous disease, like, I don't know, smallpox or ebola. Then pretend to be a group of natives and send the alpaca as a sign of submission.
    As ridiculous as it sounds... that may work!

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    The ole' "pox-ridden mashed potatoes in a wooden alpaca trick" huh? Well it is a fantasy world so maybe the not-Germans haven't heard of this one.
    Re: 100 Things to Beware of that Every DM Should Know

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    Thanks to everyone for the feedback!

    Quote Originally Posted by Thiel View Post
    The only option I can think of that doesn't start with the PCs dieing from gun fire is if they infiltrate it by stealth.
    The Derfflinger really only need to score one hit with its lightest gun to completely destroy their galeass and it can can hit them at ranges where they can barely see it.
    Boarding doesn't seem like a good idea either since the Derfflinger has a crew of 1100 and a hefty selection of rifles, pistols and machine guns to arm them. Depending on the details of the setting they might also have SMGs and handgrenades.
    The battlecruiser crew doesn't have SMGs available, and I've always figured magical explosives like fireball are roughly equivalent to a hand grenade and so can be negated when weighed against each other. Crew size was something I hadn't considered, though. I think the PCs have a crew of about fifty sailors.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni
    The only thing I can think of is the PCs force the BC to chase them, then lead the BC over unfamiliar shallow waters where the shallower draft of their galleass (on average 12 - 15 ft or 4 - 5 m) can pass, but the much deeper draft of the BC (9.2 m) can't.

    The optimal clever plan would be to do this in a tidal zone while the tide is going out, so the BC can initially enter, but is then trapped or runs aground in the shoals as the tide recedes. In a typical fantasy setting, this would be even better if done at night if the PCs have night vision, while the BC is limited to their electric spot lights.

    The trick is then finding a suitable trap location and getting the BC to chase them while wanting them intact - maybe they've just snuck on the BC, kidnapped some critical hostages or stolen some mission critical items/equipment and fled (although not fleeing too hard)?
    That's a great idea. I'll definitely give the players a couple available reasons why the battlecruiser wouldn't immediately blow them up. I just hope the players go for it ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan
    About battling a battlecruiser, I think that you need to build a wooden alpaca, stuff it with mashed potatoes, and spray the potatoes with some terribly infective and dangerous disease, like, I don't know, smallpox or ebola. Then pretend to be a group of natives and send the alpaca as a sign of submission.
    Knowing my players, they might very well come up with something like this. They've done weirder things.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    Thanks Brother Oni, Kiero and gkathellar. I could not hope to be exhaustive and you gave some great follow-up.

    I think you could had a few things, the first is administered societies could and would use those technologies and it point to the fact that it was an expansive and complex achievement.
    I would like to read, Brother, some informations about the social classes of Chinese charioteers, how they were integrated in the Chinese society.
    In most administered societies, they would make for a special elite, a kind of chivalry or a cast of professional soldiers. I would like to ear some Chinese specifics.

    In a way, this elite ties with the Halstattians princes or the achaeans leaders. You have a prestigious weapon that is central to the representation of chiefs or warriors. The relative effort involved would make the chariot an important artefact, as compounded by its presence in halstattians graves.
    And as may also be deduced by its depiction in greek mythology, or in the Iliad were it is the vehicle of heroes.
    And of course Indian gods are not the only ones using chariots.

    And then it makes me wonder how much the terror of a charge by chariots could be provoked in a small part by this special status. A bit, to compare the incomparable, like how much the tank is shrouded in awe. As much as drilled infantry had in most cases contained the tanks, its single presence may easily disband troops, especially untested soldiers.

    Still, the last part is a guess...




    SleepyShadow I like your setting and may be tempted to give it my own spin one day. I may or may not have taken a few notes. I hope you won't mind and take it as a compliment. Thanks for the idea.

    Also I second Brother Oni. The situation is not exactly the same but the famous actions of Stephen Decatur and the USS Philadelphia may give you some ideas.

    About the relative size of crews, again with a grain of salt, the boarding of the Kent by Robert Surcouf saw about a hundred privateers against an English crew of around 450, including some 300 soldiers. In the small and cramped quarters of a ship the relative size may be less of a problem than in open field, but you need seasoned fighters with a huge moral to hope to achieve something like that.

    A last thing to consider would be the system of detection of the ship. Radar and other means would be inexistant, even with electric spot lights the lines of vision would be limited. So a boarding action under the cover of darkness or fog is not totally outside the realm of possibilities.

    It would still be a huge achievement and certainly involve a lot of little ships. It is also a bit desperate but desperate measures are the only option here.



    And finally, for the way an army was commanded, you may look at the organisation of the French army under Napoleon, and about the chief of Staff Berthier.

    Napoleon established an "Etat-Major General" to centralize is orders. Berthier was the "Major Général", the second in command of the army, after the Emperor himself.
    They were three main parts. The "cabinet du major général", with four offices, an executive office, an office tasked with assessing the movement of troops, an accounting and of course Intelligence assessment.

    The second part, "l'état major particulier du major général" were the "aides de camp du major général" were tasked with taking written orders to the chiefs of armies. It was a difficult but prestigious task, as the distance was huge and ennemies were often present.

    Then you would have "l'état major de l'armée", with more administrative tasks.

    It was in effect a huge machine, well organized and efficient. Napoleon would centralize a lot of decision making, and the messengers were part of a special corps, with accommodations inside the empire.
    As an aside, Napoleon would also be hugely influential in the creation of an efficient postal system, even in favoring the "poste aux armées", who delivered mail to the troops.
    It was also one of the thing who was influential in the transfer of money by mail order as Napoleon would enforce strict rules and promote the system.

    Still the main way of providing order was by mail, or by frequently giving personnel orders. Napoleon was very mobile in a given campaign and took regular meeting with the officers. He tended also to have his troops relatively concentrated and with a clear goal for a given campaign. He was also seconded by brilliant and efficient officers, at least till the campaign of Russia. He really needed them to execute his campaign plans. The Maréchaux (plural of Maréchal) were used to translate his orders.

    But tactical orders were sometime harder to give. The drums and others musical instrument could only give a few predetermined orders. Charge, stand, fire, retreat... The chain of command was hugely dependent of the officers, and even more of the field officers and sergeant. The officers of Napoleon would often give order in the middle of the line, even the Maréchaux and high ranking officers. The casualties were huge among theirs ranks and it goes a long way to explain the decreasing quality of the French army after 1814.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    Well Epimethee stole most of what I was writing as I was doing it so am not gonna repeat myself.

    I will mention some examples on how important personal/written orders were.

    General Lee was considered an exceptional general but gave rather vague orders to division commanders. This worked in the earlier parts when he had very good commanders who understood him and could make good decision absed on the orders.

    I've seen it argued that e.g. the Battle of Gettysburg was in part last by the lack of a key subordinate division/corps commander (General Jackson) who was killed earlier in a friendly fire incident.

    There are plenty of cases of lsot, intercepted orders and messengers. Also from the ACW they found orders from Lee to one commander once, but the union leaders were so inept they could not take advantage of this. One of those "woulda shortened the war by years" moments IIRC.

    The famous charge of the Light Brigade is another example of bungled orders on a vague note/message.

    The 19th century in general (ha) saw armies swell to sizes were it becomes impractical and difficult to effectively command at a distance. Riders and orders can only do so much.

    Even WW1 used still dispatches as radio wasn't properly in use and telephone lines got cut. And on a campaign it's uncertian you could use such anyway. In the ACW they sent orders by telegraph too but such coudl be tapped, intercepted and the lines only go certain places (following railroads, which armies did too made them at least somewhat useful).


    I once read an article in a wargaming magazine where they played the game not in the usual manner where commanders have a "godlike vision" of the field. But with subcommanders at the tables moving units and overall commanders in another room writing orders on actual notes to be passed along.

    Musical orders just wouldn't work on a rela battlefield, not for any distance. At the sharp end it's officers telling the men what to do. But for the soldiers it's going to be rather straight forwards anyway. Usually quite literally. The men do not ahve to worry about doing flanking and such, they worry about going the way they are pointed and by those guys 50m in front of them shooting.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by Epimethee View Post
    I think you could had a few things, the first is administered societies could and would use those technologies and it point to the fact that it was an expansive and complex achievement.
    I would like to read, Brother, some informations about the social classes of Chinese charioteers, how they were integrated in the Chinese society.
    In most administered societies, they would make for a special elite, a kind of chivalry or a cast of professional soldiers. I would like to ear some Chinese specifics.
    In which time period are you interested in? Spring and Autumn period to the Han Dynasty covers approximately 1400 years.

    Generally speaking though, Chinese culture significantly differs from more western cultures where warrior elites aren't as highly valued as the administrators who actually ensure the smooth running of the bureaucracy of the kingdom/empire. There's a Chinese saying "You don't use good iron to make nails; you don't make good men into soldiers".

    Quote Originally Posted by Epimethee View Post
    About the relative size of crews, again with a grain of salt, the boarding of the Kent by Robert Surcouf saw about a hundred privateers against an English crew of around 450, including some 300 soldiers. In the small and cramped quarters of a ship the relative size may be less of a problem than in open field, but you need seasoned fighters with a huge moral to hope to achieve something like that.
    A couple things here that would differ from Robert Surcouf's example:
    • The ~1100 crew compliment of a Derflinger class BC doesn't include marines or other troops it may be carrying, resulting in a much bigger force disparity.
    • Assuming three watches, that's only ~370 people on duty at any one time, 370 on standby which could be mobilised in fairly short order and 370 asleep/resting who would take longer to prepare. If the PCs are quick and quiet, they would be facing far fewer people than expected.
    • A WW1 era BC has steel bulkheads which can be locked to contain flooding, but also do an excellent job of limiting the movement of hostile boarders. If the PCs start doing too well, they could find themselves locked into a few compartments while the ship reorganises itself and get some heavy ordanance in place.
    • A WW1 BC is a maze in comparison to a 18th Century ship - getting lost is a real issue, not to mention you can get outflanked very easily.


    Quote Originally Posted by snowblizz View Post
    I once read an article in a wargaming magazine where they played the game not in the usual manner where commanders have a "godlike vision" of the field. But with subcommanders at the tables moving units and overall commanders in another room writing orders on actual notes to be passed along.
    There was a series called Time Commanders on the BBC which did this with a modified version of the Rome Total War engine. The players took the part of the generals and officers/runners, with the generals staying at a grand strategy table with physical tokens to represent troops, and the runners passing on orders to staff in another room (who moved the troops around in the game) and relaying back what they could see on the screens.

    More than one team became a cropper when incorrect information was fed back or wasn't updated correctly on the general's strategy table, resulting in conflicting orders being given or the generals unable to react quickly enough to changing circumstances on the battlefield. In particular, I remember one team losing in part due to one of the runners getting frustrated at the slow speed and poor judgement of the generals and started giving his own orders instead to the troops he was responsible for.
    Last edited by Brother Oni; 2018-10-23 at 07:50 AM.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    In unrelated news, a research effort to map the increase of water level at the end of the ice ages has ended up finding more than 40 shipwrecks, from ancient Greek to Byzantine, to Genoese to Venetian, to Ottoman to Cossack, all in the Bulgarian waters of the Black Sea. The most recent news is that they have found an amazingly well preserved merchant ship from the fourth century BC, of a kind until now known only by ancient descriptions and depictions. https://www.southampton.ac.uk/humani...black-sea.page

    https://www.google.it/amp/s/www.tele...black-sea/amp/

    In a different article, I read that it even still has its boats!

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Beer View Post
    The ole' "pox-ridden mashed potatoes in a wooden alpaca trick" huh? Well it is a fantasy world so maybe the not-Germans haven't heard of this one.
    It's ridiculous enough that they may laugh at it as a quait, ridiculous custom of the unwashed savages, and actually try the mashed potatoes!

    Plus, while they may suspect poison, they probably think biological warfare is beyond those primitives... So they may feed it to a dog or pig or whatever and judge it safe if the animal doesn't get sick within a day...

    Just look at this face! Who could suspect anything evil coming from this?:

    Spoiler
    Show


    Last edited by Clistenes; 2018-10-23 at 04:02 PM.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    I think spells like fireball really question ironclads and big ships.

    Like, the aim of those spells are perfect, you could fire them into a gun barrel and watch the whole thing blow up.

    Then again, fireball invalidates castles, rules as is, so...
    But then also.... WWI tech really is overwhelming, but guns don't do much more damage than medieval weaponry, so in a world where a human can have so many d10s, is it really so much of an advantage?
    Last edited by The Jack; 2018-10-23 at 06:29 PM.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by Epimethee View Post
    SleepyShadow I like your setting and may be tempted to give it my own spin one day. I may or may not have taken a few notes. I hope you won't mind and take it as a compliment. Thanks for the idea.

    Also I second Brother Oni. The situation is not exactly the same but the famous actions of Stephen Decatur and the USS Philadelphia may give you some ideas.

    About the relative size of crews, again with a grain of salt, the boarding of the Kent by Robert Surcouf saw about a hundred privateers against an English crew of around 450, including some 300 soldiers. In the small and cramped quarters of a ship the relative size may be less of a problem than in open field, but you need seasoned fighters with a huge moral to hope to achieve something like that.

    A last thing to consider would be the system of detection of the ship. Radar and other means would be inexistant, even with electric spot lights the lines of vision would be limited. So a boarding action under the cover of darkness or fog is not totally outside the realm of possibilities.

    It would still be a huge achievement and certainly involve a lot of little ships. It is also a bit desperate but desperate measures are the only option here.
    I'm glad you like the setting As for the detection system, the Ragesians (the aliens) don't have anything more than two spotlights port and starboard, and one fore and aft. Would it be possible for the PCs to swim up to the ship at night? Then again, subtlety is not exactly my group's specialty.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni
    A couple things here that would differ from Robert Surcouf's example:
    • The ~1100 crew compliment of a Derflinger class BC doesn't include marines or other troops it may be carrying, resulting in a much bigger force disparity.
    • Assuming three watches, that's only ~370 people on duty at any one time, 370 on standby which could be mobilised in fairly short order and 370 asleep/resting who would take longer to prepare. If the PCs are quick and quiet, they would be facing far fewer people than expected.
    • A WW1 era BC has steel bulkheads which can be locked to contain flooding, but also do an excellent job of limiting the movement of hostile boarders. If the PCs start doing too well, they could find themselves locked into a few compartments while the ship reorganises itself and get some heavy ordanance in place.
    • A WW1 BC is a maze in comparison to a 18th Century ship - getting lost is a real issue, not to mention you can get outflanked very easily.
    The ship would be running with a skeleton crew, since they don't really have soldiers to spare. I hadn't thought of the bulkheads, though. That would add a really interesting aspect to combat aboard the ship. Thanks for the idea

    Quote Originally Posted by Clistenes
    It's ridiculous enough that they may laugh at it as a quait, ridiculous custom of the unwashed savages, and actually try the mashed potatoes!

    Plus, while they may suspect poison, they probably think biological warfare is beyond those primitives... So they may feed it to a dog or pig or whatever and judge it safe if the animal doesn't get sick within a day...
    Poisoned food would actually work really well. The invaders are getting a little desperate for resources. Maintaining their army while also moving their civilians into conquered areas has been draining their resources way ahead of schedule. Tainted tribute food might be a trick that could work several times if the PCs are careful about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Jack
    I think spells like fireball really question ironclads and big ships.

    Like, the aim of those spells are perfect, you could fire them into a gun barrel and watch the whole thing blow up.

    Then again, fireball invalidates castles, rules as is, so...
    But then also.... WWI tech really is overwhelming, but guns don't do much more damage than medieval weaponry, so in a world where a human can have so many d10s, is it really so much of an advantage?
    Maybe not against PCs (although the rifles do 2d10 or 2d12 depending on caliber), but overwhelming tech certainly gives the invaders an edge army-to-army.

  28. - Top - End - #88
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by The Jack View Post
    I think spells like fireball really question ironclads and big ships.

    Like, the aim of those spells are perfect, you could fire them into a gun barrel and watch the whole thing blow up.

    Then again, fireball invalidates castles, rules as is, so...
    But then also.... WWI tech really is overwhelming, but guns don't do much more damage than medieval weaponry, so in a world where a human can have so many d10s, is it really so much of an advantage?
    I have to question the 'perfect aim' bit. Line of Effect is blocked if a gap in a barrier is less than 1 foot square; that strongly implies that you can't toss a Fireball down a cannon barrel.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by Lapak View Post
    I have to question the 'perfect aim' bit. Line of Effect is blocked if a gap in a barrier is less than 1 foot square; that strongly implies that you can't toss a Fireball down a cannon barrel.
    It is?

    Well, Many guns aren't longer than that 20ft radius and the fireball goes around corners. It still doesn't look good.


    skeleton crew
    I still think the Rags'd be mad to not recruit others to do their work for them, or at least to build or summon a few things that could work for them. Animated armour but with a machinegun.... sounds like a perfect warrior.

    Maybe not against pcs
    Veterans, knights and others still have more than they need for health. More-monster enemies could take it too.
    Last edited by The Jack; 2018-10-23 at 08:39 PM.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by The Jack View Post
    I think spells like fireball really question ironclads and big ships.

    Like, the aim of those spells are perfect, you could fire them into a gun barrel and watch the whole thing blow up.
    20' radius explosion 150' range 8d6 damage (or 8 shortsword hits)

    An example ironclad weapon:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RBL_7_inch_Armstrong_gun

    - maximum range 3200 metres (7500 feet)
    - shell weighs 40 to 50 kilos at velocity of 340 m/s...damage unknown but I think exceeds 8 shortswords

    If we're talking about the WWI battlecruiser, it's armaments are far more powerful again.
    Last edited by Mr Beer; 2018-10-23 at 11:28 PM.
    Re: 100 Things to Beware of that Every DM Should Know

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    93. No matter what the character sheet say, there are only 3 PC alignments: Lawful Snotty, Neutral Greedy, and Chaotic Backstabbing.

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