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  1. #1
    James Ruhland
    Guest

    Mass Armies, Modified Units, th

    > war of attrition strategy should not work. If they have an army of
    20,000/100 unitsand lose 5,000/25. They can't "replace them faster than
    Ghore"- There's noone left
    > to replace them with!
    >
    If I recall correctly, the Roman Republic lost quite a huge army at Cannae,
    but were able to muster more Legions to replace their losses.

    >
    > YES! YES! That's it! Reduce the number of trade routes! I won't go on
    too long-
    > gawd knows I've ranted enough about this already. This campaign show
    blatantly that
    > the Trade route rules, as written are far too liberal.
    >
    I made similar arguments months ago, saying that the TR rules should be
    revised (less income per TR), and taxation modified upwards (somewhat), to
    reflect the balance of a agriculturally-based economy (wealth/money, or
    rather "resources", which is what a GB represents, not just a pile of gold,
    comes from the land. Trade is/was good 'cause it was a source of cash, but
    most income of any state/realm should come from the pesantry tax base).
    I think Randax here was one of the few people who agreed with me at the
    time.

    >
    > Who cares? Well personally I find 100+ unit standing armies unrealistic,
    munchkinny, and most importantly, not very fun.
    >
    I have already said I agree. Only reason we have such a force (or at least
    the only reason I've bothered to muster more than I used to have, which was
    in the circa 15-20 unit range) is to fight this Big Badguy NPC dude.
    Which, btw, we just fought the 1st battle of that war, and we lost that
    one.

    > *yawn* "a thousand archers died?"
    > "oh well, I'll just move up my 10 infantry companies I created with the
    modify unit
    > action. They're all armed with Hackmasters +12!"
    >
    Modify Unit is no longer available in this PBeM, btw, which is one of the
    things that has lead to the prevelence of "mass" armies. Before that rule
    went "buh bye" I created 3 elite units (units somewhat better than the
    ImpLegion, but no stat over 6, and which cost a fortune to maintain), 5
    units equivilent to ImpLegion (Imperial Legion, btw, I would argue isn't
    even as good as Elven Knights, so IMO this wasn't overly munchkiny), which
    cost a bunch to muster and more to maintain (2 of them died in battle and
    can't be replaced).
    Of course, I had what I thought were creative plans to tactically maximize
    the effects of these few units, applying "force multipliers" and a (what I
    thought was) a well thought out battle doctrine. But what you do with your
    base units to make creative use of them/maximize their effectiveness is, I
    think, what the game is all about. It's hard to be that creative when
    you're talking hundreds of units.
    I was then looking forward to makeing some Cataphract units (basically a
    unit which would be similar to Elven Cavalry), and a "special operations"
    unit evolved from Scouts, which would have had Missile 5 and some other
    minor but IMO nifty little bonuses (+1 Defence vs. Missile attacks, which
    would have given them a whopping Defence: 3 vs. Missile attacks, and
    ability to move freely through any terrain and fall back without penalty
    through friendly units, and had 2 Hits).
    Inother words, they would have been somewhat better than Archers, but
    would have cost as much as Knights to Muster & Maintain (and would they be
    3 times as good as Archers?).
    IMO, that's what Modify Unit should be for: making neeto units, but not
    units armed with +12 Hackmasters.
    Oh, and then there was my "Roman Elite Infantry" I posted awhile back;
    again, I'd hardly call that a "god" unit. Something that again had some
    interesting/what I thought were "neet" little effects, but not something
    that would by itself dominate the battlefield.

    Getting back to TRs, again; both myself and Randax made several
    suggestions for revising/repairing the TR rules for Birthright: The New
    Era, and I hope they do something like that (again, IMO, tax rates should
    be increased; but tax rates aren't too bad, because they are "flat", I.E.
    each province can only be taxed once a Turn, while you can make so many TRs
    that things quickly get out of control).
    For thouse who are interested, here were my suggestions:
    TR income= [Province (Origin) + Province (Destination)] /3.

    I.E. a TR from Endier (6) to the Imperial City (10) now generates 8 GB.

    Under this rule, it would generate 5 GB. This might actually still be too
    high, in which case I might recomend the following:

    The 1st Turn a newly created TR generates income, it generates "windfall"
    profits (to signify the popularity of newly available goods). It generates
    income equal to the current rules (average of the two Provinces).
    After that, it generates 3 GB per Turn, no matter what (and, it is thus
    likely that if the Guilder is taxed on both ends, he'll only get 1 GB per
    Turn from his TR; which is really a gouge, and perhaps this is too low to
    make TRs worthwhile; anyhow, further debate on this is also welcomed.)

    Strict caps on the # of TRs that a provence can be the destination for also
    helps, but still leaves lots of room for abuse.

    Taxation: keep the current table, but add +Province Level to the roll.

    I.E. Endier (6) Moderate Taxation would be:
    d8+7
    instead of
    d8+1

    This gives landed rulers the "boost" they need. Something should I suppose
    also be done to slightly boost Temple income, but only slighty.

    And "Exploratory Trade" should either be wiped out completely, or something
    along the lines of the revised rules Darkstar created should replace them.

    IMO, at least in a PnP campaign (it would be hard in a PBeM, I suppose),
    anything like Exploration, including a exploration mission seeking profit
    (which is what Exploratory Trade is), comes under the catagory of
    "Adventure" and should be role-played as such, and any profit should be a
    matter of how much swag the characters bring in for themselves on the
    adventure (dickering via role playing or whatever), not a matter of
    virtually guaranteed profits through the aplication of massive RPs.
    Or, failing that, the trade rules from the old D&D Gazeteer Minrothad
    should be used. At least that puts a cap on, and to a large degree
    randomizes, any profits (actually, the Trade Rules from Minrothad are
    really just a slightly modified variant of the Trade Rules from classic
    Traveller, if you're familiar with the one but not the other).

  2. #2
    Pieter A de Jong
    Guest

    Mass Armies, Modified Units, th

    At 04:27 PM 5/29/98 -0500, James Ruhland wrote:
    >> war of attrition strategy should not work. If they have an army of
    >20,000/100 unitsand lose 5,000/25. They can't "replace them faster than
    >Ghore"- There's noone left
    >> to replace them with!
    >>
    >If I recall correctly, the Roman Republic lost quite a huge army at Cannae,
    >but were able to muster more Legions to replace their losses.
    >
    >>
    >> YES! YES! That's it! Reduce the number of trade routes! I won't go on
    >too long-
    >> gawd knows I've ranted enough about this already. This campaign show
    >blatantly that
    >> the Trade route rules, as written are far too liberal.
    >>
    > I made similar arguments months ago, saying that the TR rules should be
    >revised (less income per TR), and taxation modified upwards (somewhat), to
    >reflect the balance of a agriculturally-based economy (wealth/money, or
    >rather "resources", which is what a GB represents, not just a pile of gold,
    >comes from the land. Trade is/was good 'cause it was a source of cash, but
    >most income of any state/realm should come from the pesantry tax base).
    > I think Randax here was one of the few people who agreed with me at the
    >time.
    >
    >>
    >> Who cares? Well personally I find 100+ unit standing armies unrealistic,
    >munchkinny, and most importantly, not very fun.
    >>
    >I have already said I agree. Only reason we have such a force (or at least
    >the only reason I've bothered to muster more than I used to have, which was
    >in the circa 15-20 unit range) is to fight this Big Badguy NPC dude.
    > Which, btw, we just fought the 1st battle of that war, and we lost that
    >one.
    >
    >> *yawn* "a thousand archers died?"
    >> "oh well, I'll just move up my 10 infantry companies I created with the
    >modify unit
    >> action. They're all armed with Hackmasters +12!"
    >>

    > Getting back to TRs, again; both myself and Randax made several
    >suggestions for revising/repairing the TR rules for Birthright: The New
    >Era, and I hope they do something like that (again, IMO, tax rates should
    >be increased; but tax rates aren't too bad, because they are "flat", I.E.
    >each province can only be taxed once a Turn, while you can make so many TRs
    >that things quickly get out of control).
    > For thouse who are interested, here were my suggestions:
    >TR income= [Province (Origin) + Province (Destination)] /3.
    >
    >I.E. a TR from Endier (6) to the Imperial City (10) now generates 8 GB.
    >
    >Under this rule, it would generate 5 GB. This might actually still be too
    >high, in which case I might recomend the following:
    >
    > The 1st Turn a newly created TR generates income, it generates "windfall"
    >profits (to signify the popularity of newly available goods). It generates
    >income equal to the current rules (average of the two Provinces).
    > After that, it generates 3 GB per Turn, no matter what (and, it is thus
    >likely that if the Guilder is taxed on both ends, he'll only get 1 GB per
    >Turn from his TR; which is really a gouge, and perhaps this is too low to
    >make TRs worthwhile; anyhow, further debate on this is also welcomed.)
    >
    >Strict caps on the # of TRs that a provence can be the destination for also
    >helps, but still leaves lots of room for abuse.
    >
    >Taxation: keep the current table, but add +Province Level to the roll.
    >
    >I.E. Endier (6) Moderate Taxation would be:
    > d8+7
    >instead of
    > d8+1
    >
    >This gives landed rulers the "boost" they need. Something should I suppose
    >also be done to slightly boost Temple income, but only slighty.
    >
    >And "Exploratory Trade" should either be wiped out completely, or something
    >along the lines of the revised rules Darkstar created should replace them.
    >
    >IMO, at least in a PnP campaign (it would be hard in a PBeM, I suppose),
    >anything like Exploration, including a exploration mission seeking profit
    >(which is what Exploratory Trade is), comes under the catagory of
    >"Adventure" and should be role-played as such, and any profit should be a
    >matter of how much swag the characters bring in for themselves on the
    >adventure (dickering via role playing or whatever), not a matter of
    >virtually guaranteed profits through the aplication of massive RPs.
    > Or, failing that, the trade rules from the old D&D Gazeteer Minrothad
    >should be used. At least that puts a cap on, and to a large degree
    >randomizes, any profits (actually, the Trade Rules from Minrothad are
    >really just a slightly modified variant of the Trade Rules from classic
    >Traveller, if you're familiar with the one but not the other).
    >
    If you are going to increase the incomes for temples and provinces give some
    thought to balancing things for the wizard class. It is already the most
    difficult class to play as they have no cash source except for control of
    provinces and they don't want to rule their provinces up so as to keep their
    source levels high.

    Pieter A de Jong
    Graduate Mechanical Engineering Student
    University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada

  3. #3
    James Ruhland
    Guest

    Mass Armies, Modified Units, th

    > >
    > If you are going to increase the incomes for temples and provinces give
    some
    > thought to balancing things for the wizard class. It is already the most
    > difficult class to play as they have no cash source except for control of
    > provinces and they don't want to rule their provinces up so as to keep
    their
    > source levels high.
    >
    That's a good point. Usually a Wizard can easily find someone willing to
    fund his or her activities (since there are only so many Wizards around,
    and only a few with Sources). But do all Wizards want to be, in effect,
    mercenaries, selling their services for cash?

    Again, though, at least in a PnP campaign, this isn't so bad: you can
    adventure, and bring back your "reward" (the swag you loot), and use
    Finance (free action) to convert it into GB as nessisary.
    But, still, there should be some kind of income for the "poor" wizard who
    doesn't want to sell his spells on a streetcorner to the 1st regent who
    offers to bankroll him.
    Alchemy is good for that, to some degree, but that hampers a Wizard (RPs
    are the mother's milk of a Wizard Regent: if you spend all your RPs making
    Gold to finance your activities, then you don't have the RPs you need to
    cast the spells at all!). However, even this isn't *so* aweful: a Wizard
    usually isn't called upon by events to cast Realm Spells every month, or
    even every Turn.
    In fact, as far as a burden on a Wizard's time, they probably have it the
    'easiest', (again, though, this is needed, 'cause you gotta do lots o
    Reasurch actions if you want to call yourself a Wizard).
    Now I'm babbling. I guess my point is that there should be some reasonable
    way for a Wizard to get some income without subjigating himself (the "court
    mage" deal; but none of the other Regents have to, in effect, envassel
    themselves just to run their realms), but I dk what it would be.
    Perhaps, instead of the ability to create a TR from their (rare) L7+
    Sources, the Wizard should get 1 GB per Source (not Source level, and 0
    level Sources excluded), which would represent something along the same
    lines (sale of rare junk, spices, wierd concoctions, etc, found near
    Mebhaihl).
    That might actually be more than a Wizard needs, but then perhaps
    something along the lines of the Maintinance Chart could be used, instead
    of having to pay that ammount for their Holdings, the Wizard recieves that
    amount for them (I.E. a Mage with 7 Sources would get 2 GB/Turn); except
    then that might not be enough (but at least it's a start). Well, these are
    the ideas I came up with just sitting here. I'm sure someone can improve on
    them.

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