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Thread: War Academy

  1. #1
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    For those of you who remember the first version of the War Academy that I posted some months ago, here's an updated revision that includes some rules for developing early gunpowder weapons. If you don't want gunpowder in your campaign but otherwise want to use this idea - no problem. There are plenty of other good options for the development of military science.

    Also, this structure is still something of a work in progress. Any comments, suggestions, etc. are always welcome - in fact, some of the ideas in here are inspired by various posts from other members of the BR community. Also, a few references are specific to my Battlesystem rules, especially the artillery - sorry if that's a bit obscure for some. Hope you like it...



    War Academy
    A Wondrous Structure
    Build Cost: 25 GB per level
    Seasonal Maintenance: 2 GB per level

    Maximum effective level = associated law holding
    This wonder may only be utilized in conjunction with a local law holding.

    Benefits:
    1. Improved Training Facilities: Each level of the War Academy stacks with the local law holding for purposes of mustering and training troops. Thus, more and better troops can be mustered or easily trained to higher standards within the province as training facilities improve and expand.
    2. Superior Unit Training: Every two levels of the War Academy allows one additional special training slot for veteran troops trained here. Thus, a Level 4-5 War Academy would allow veterans with up to 4 special training options.
    3. Advanced Military Science: Each level of Academy completed represents a significant advance in military science. This may include new or refined technology, innovative military doctrine, and advanced training techniques. As each level of the War Academy is completed, a single advance may be chosen from the list below (note prerequisites where applicable).

    Conscript/Levy Upgrades:

    Advanced Militia Training: Able-bodied citizens are organized into lightly armed militia units with regular (weekly) training. Over a month’s time, the regent may spend a Court Action to institute this program in any or all provinces in his realm, paying 1 GB per level of province affected. Once instituted and maintained, all future levies drawn from these provinces are treated as Light Irregulars with regular training (+4 Melee, +2 Missile, Def 12, Hits 2, Move 2, Morale +2; 0 GB conscripts). Standard rules for levies apply in all other ways (1 month to muster, no muster cost, maintenance accounted for by reduced province levels).

    Yeomen Militia: requires Advanced Militia Training, and a Level 3 or higher War Academy. A further upgrade to militia training – levies may be regular infantry, pikemen, irregulars, or archers, with light or medium armor. This upgrade also requires one or more Court Actions, at the cost of 1 GB per province affected. This kind of specialized training requires far more time, however. A full season (3 months) must pass before the militia may be called up as unit types other than irregulars.

    Feudal Obligations: requires Yeoman Militia, and a Level 5 or higher War Academy. At the cost of 1 GB per province affected, the regent may implement wartime levies from the lesser nobility and gentry of the realm. This requires a Court Action (Decree), and takes effect in the following month. When calling up levies in wartime, the regent may replace a single levied foot unit from each province with a mounted and/or elite unit. The unit must be of a type applicable to the nobility/gentry of the region, and its muster cost (in GB) may not exceed the province level from which it was raised. Thus, it requires a level 4+ province to levy a unit of regular Light Cavalry (4 GB), and a level 6+ province to levy a unit of Knights (6 GB – Veteran Heavy Cavalry).

    Special Training Options: Available only to units trained at the Academy.

    Superior Missile Training: represents advanced training and technology for veteran units with Advanced Missile Training. Represents better bows (mighty composite bows) or masterwork firearms or cannon, more effective formation techniques, and so on. Stacks with Advanced Missile Training. Adds +2 Missile, and 1 GB to the muster cost.

    Superior Melee Training: Higher quality weapons, new training techniques, and improved unit coordination can all lead to even more potent melee fighting. Requires and stacks with Advanced Melee Training. Adds +2 Melee and +1 GB muster cost.

    Superior Defensive Training: Requires Advanced Defensive Training. Better armor, advanced training, and specialized formations can add an even higher level of resistance to damage. +2 Defense, +1 GB muster cost.
    Superior Discipline: Superior discipline and training techniques can further enhance a unit’s morale. Requires Advanced Morale Training, adds +2 Morale and +1 GB muster cost.

    Elite Training: Requires a Level 5 Academy. Allows for training elite levels of experience in entire companies (1 level above veteran). Elite experience units add +6 Melee, +6 Missile, +3 Hits, +6 Morale, +2 Move, and cost +4 GB to muster to the base statistics for any unit.

    Explosive Shells: Requires Gunpowder 1 for catapults, Gunpowder 3 for cannons. May be given to any artillery unit, gives a Missile Threat Range of 19-20/x2, and +2 Warcraft when supporting an assault (this bonus stacks with artillery bonuses). Adds +1 to the fumble range of cannons, and gives a base fumble range of 1 for catapults. +1 GB muster cost.

    Canister Shot: Requires Gunpowder 1. Available to cannon artillery only. Allows the cannon to fire a cloud of anti-personnel shrapnel (lead balls, nails, glass shards, sand, and/or broken metal bits). This cloud has a very short range: it affects the square directly in front of it only. This shot gains a +4 Missile bonus (no artillery penalties), inflicts 2 hits of damage, and adds +2 to the weapon’s threat range. This is typically taken as a stationary missile “last shot” by the artillery unit, and is devastating to any unit caught in its blast. Once this advance is developed, all gunpowder artillery units are automatically equipped with canister shot (no extra muster cost).

    Exotic Unit Type: Requires a level 4+ War Academy. Brings in foreign officers and instructors to create a new kind of unit. This advance may be taken multiple times; each advance introduces a new unit type (assuming the resources are available to create and support such a unit; DM approval required). The basic cost is included in the level of the academy, but some unit types (like Varsk riders) would require additional accommodations (such as Varsk handlers and farms). Because of the extensive training for native peoples, it requires a long time to acquire the first unit. It requires 1 season per GB of muster cost for a regular unit of that type (usually with light or medium armor) to be available for muster.

    Some examples include:
    Any special unit option not available in the academy’s region; ex. Anuirean Berserkers, Brecht Varsk Riders, etc.
    Khinasi Horse Archers: Light Cavalry Archers (regulars + skirmishers); +0 Melee, +6 Missile, Defense 12, Hits 2, Morale +4, Move 5; Skirmishers (Move and Fire +4); 5 GB muster

    Advanced Tactics: Requires a Level 1 Academy. This advance allows any officer trained here to gain a competence bonus to their Warcraft skill, with a maximum bonus equal to the level of the academy at the time they are trained. Advanced tactical training requires 1 month per level of the bonus (character action), and costs 1 GB per month. Training need not be in consecutive months.

    Advanced Leadership: Requires a Level 2 Academy. Similar to advanced tactical training, this advance grants a competence bonus to officers’ Lead scores, which may not exceed the level of the academy at time of training. Training time is one month per +1 bonus, and costs 1 GB per month.

    Advanced Officer Training: Requires a Level 3 War Academy. Officers are trained to a high standard of competency in the latest tactics and leadership techniques. Once this advance is implemented, all units trained at the academy are led by a commander with a level equal to the level of the academy. See Hero Units for details on the effects of high-level unit commanders. Unlike normal Hero Units, they may not move to command other units during a battle.

    Gunpowder: the invention and development of gunpowder represents a revolutionary advance in warfare. As the manufacture of gunpowder requires arcane-empowered alchemy, the invention of sufficiently stable gunpowder requires a great deal of alchemical research and resources. As such it requires a Magical Academy of at least Level 4 to develop Gunpowder as an alchemical invention. If the owner of a War Academy is able to obtain the substance and some training in its properties and safe handling, he or she may begin to develop military applications for it. The cost of powder is included in unit muster and maintenance costs, but the regent must establish a trade route between the powder-producing magical academy and the war academy to maintain a steady supply of the substance.
    There are 3 main levels of gunpowder weapons development. Associated units become available for muster once the appropriate levels are developed.

    Level 1 Gunpowder: Requires the Gunpowder invention and Level 6 War Academy. Basic artillery and handguns are developed, as are simple bombs and fuse-lit explosives (bombs may be set or developed to be thrown by catapults if Explosive Shells are developed). Canister shot may also be developed for cannons. Bombards, Handgunners, and Sappers become available. This represents early- and high-medieval levels of gunpowder technology.

    Level 2 Gunpowder: Requires Gunpowder 1 and a Level 8 War Academy. Demi-culverins and arquebusiers are developed as gunpowder becomes more stable and casting technologies improve. This is roughly equivalent to late medieval levels of gunpowder technology.

    Level 3 Gunpowder: Requires Gunpowder 2 and a Level 10 War Academy. Culverins, musketeers, and dragoons become available for muster, and explosive shells may now be used in cannons. This is equivalent to Renaissance levels of gunpowder development (roughly 16th century).

    Gunpowder Units: A fumble (normally, a roll of 1 on a d20) means the weapons explode catastrophically (bombards and sappers fumble on a 1 or 2 on the attack roll). For artillery and sappers, the unit is destroyed. Gunners take 2 hits of damage, ½ (1 hit) with a Morale save (DC 15).

    Bombard: Artillery; Melee +2, Missile +4*, Def 10, Hits 2, Morale +4, Move 0(2), Missile Threat Range: 19-20/x2, base range = 6; Artillery*; Fumble range: 1-2 (on an attack roll). Muster: 4 GB. Requires Level 1 Gunpowder.

    Demi-Culverin: Artillery; Mel +2, Missile +6*, Def 10, Hits 2, Mor +4, Move 0(2), Missile Threat Range: 18-20/x2, base range = 6; Artillery*; Muster: 6 GB. Requires Level 2 Gunpowder.

    Culverin: Artillery; Mel +2, Missile +6*, Def 10, Hits 2, Mor +4, Move 0(2), Missile Threat Range: 18-20/x3, base range = 8; Artillery*; Muster: 8 GB. Requires Level 3 Gunpowder.

    Sappers: Engineers; Mel +2 (+6), Def 10, Hits 2, Mor +4, Move 2; May make one attack (at +6 as a regular unit, +8 for a veteran one; Target Defense = 10+ Fort. level) per battle to assault one section of wall per battle; If successful, they demolish (negate) one section of wall in the enemy fortification. On a roll of 1 or 2, the explosives detonate prematurely, killing the sappers (and destroying the unit). Sappers may also counter-tunnel against enemy sappers – in this case the two units make opposing sapper checks (+6 regulars), and the winning unit blocks the enemy unit while inflicting 1 hit of damage (19-20/x3). Muster Cost: 4 GB; Requires Level 1 Gunpowder.

    Handgunners: Light Gunners; Melee +2, Missile +4, Defense 12, Hits 2, Morale +2, Move 2; Missile Threat Range: 19-20/x2, base range 1”; Muster: 2 GB; Requires Level 1 Gunpowder.

    Arquebusiers: Light Gunners; Melee +2, Missile +4, Def 12, Hits 2, Morale +2, Move 2; Missile Threat Range: 18-20/x2, base range 2”; Muster: 3 GB; Requires Level 2 Gunpowder.

    Musketeers: Light Gunners; Mel +2, Mis +4, Def 12, Hits 2, Mor +4, Move 2; Missile Threat Range: 17-20/x2, base range 3”; Muster: 4 GB; Requires Level 3 Gunpowder.

    Dragoons: Medium Gunner Cavalry; Mel +4 (+6)*, Mis +2, Def 14, Hits 2, Mor +4, Move 3; Missile Threat Range: 18-20/x2, base range 2”; +2 Charge*; Muster: 6 GB; Requires Level 3 Gunpowder.

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    Nice work, Osprey.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    These references actually belong here...

    Battlesystem and Unit Statistics - For comparison of troops stats, my Battlesystem uses a square grid with Warcard troops whose tactical speed = 2 x unit's Move rating. Archers and scouts have a base range of 4, irregulars 2, artillery 6, and extended ranges are possible at penalties (-2 Missile per range increment over the base, +0 adjusted missile = maximum extended range). So gunners have a shorter range than archers, but have better crit potential. Cannons get longer and longer ranges, with potent crit potential and better siege support (higher bonus to Warcraft to storm a fortification, as per BRCS).

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