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  1. #1
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    War and Conquest

    I`m writing up some guidelines for conducting large scale combat in Birthright using a system of levels for military units rather than warcards. The idea is that the system will more closely parallel the existing game mechanics of the setting; levels to portray organizations, opposed rolls to resolve combat, etc. Part of the system is that military units can take on special qualities, which are based on the troop types that were the different types of warcards, and each will have different costs, requirements and effects on the stats and/or abilities of the military unit. So far, the troop types I have are:

    Archers
    Berserks
    Cavalry, heavy
    Cavalry, light
    Companions
    Elites
    Engineers
    Forager
    Forester
    Infiltrators
    Irregulars
    Marines
    Mountaineer
    Mounts
    Partisan
    Pikemen
    Scouts
    Shapeshifters
    Varsk Riders

    Several of the troop types listed above are new, but they`re pretty explanatory. "Knights" are replaced with "Cavalry, heavy" to avoid any connotations having to do with social class and culture.

    Two questions:

    Are there any other troop types that folks would like to see included?

    Is there anything in particular you think military units should be able to do that might be apt for such a system?

    Gary
    Last edited by Thelandrin; 08-14-2009 at 10:07 AM.

  2. #2
    Site Moderator Sorontar's Avatar
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    I presume that Engineers are sappers.
    What about artillery?
    Wolfriders?
    Elephant riders or artillery?
    Centaur/Wemic-like cavalry?
    Camel calvalry?
    Town militia/Guards (ie. urban specialists)?

    Some of this may not appropriate for Cerilia but may be useable for Aduria.

    And though I am a great fan of Firefly, what do you mean by companions?

    Sorontar

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    At 11:10 PM 8/13/2009, Sorontar wrote:

    >I presume that Engineers are sappers.
    >
    >What about artillery?


    Unless I can come up with different effects for sappers and artillery, I`m combining both into the engineer special ability. Since both those types of troops are primarily about going up against fortifications... unless artillery is more dynamic than catapults and trebuchets.

    >Wolfriders?

    Nice. Just goblins?

    >Elephant riders or artillery?

    Good one. Instead of getting too specific about the type of mounts, how about "Beastriders" to portray any army that features large animals/monsters like elephants, giant lizards, etc.?

    >Centaur/Wemic-like cavalry?

    Would a "Sylvan" troop type work, or were you picturing them as more of a cavalry type effect? In this system, individual military units can have more than one special effect, so to portray a centaur army one might have "Cavalry, heavy" and "Sylvan" special abilities.

    >Camel cavalry?

    I included "Foresters" and "Mountaineers" who have special abilities in those terrains. "Desert Warriors" or something like that is a good inclusion....

    >Town militia/Guards (ie. urban specialists)?
    >
    >Some of this may not appropriate for Cerilia but may be usable for Aduria.


    I had a system of "military police" units in a previous combat system. Their effect was to make it quicker for a regent to take over a province after it had been conquered by an invader. That seems appropriate for this system too.

    >And though I am a great fan of Firefly, what do you mean by companions?

    Companions: A military unit with the companions special ability includes a band of legendary warriors, each a force to be reckoned with in his own right. As individuals they can sway the course of battle, but when gathered together their presence can change the course of history. A military unit with the companions special ability never fails morale checks. In any given combat round, the unit`s commander can add a total of 3 points to any of the unit`s stats.

    Gary
    Last edited by Thelandrin; 08-14-2009 at 10:10 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mirviriam's Avatar
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    I would add in anti-magic/divine units that ignore bonuses from units benefiting from spells or steal said bonuses.
    Legacy of Kings: Member

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    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Birthright-L View Post

    >Elephant riders or artillery?

    Good one. Instead of getting too specific about the type of mounts,
    how about "Beastriders" to portray any army that features large
    animals/monsters like elephants, giant lizards, etc.?
    Aren't varsk a subset of that already? - seems to be an overlap (at least on first thought)
    Duane Eggert

  6. #6
    Site Moderator Sorontar's Avatar
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    >> wolfriders

    While goblins are the traditional riders, it could also be extended to other races. I have also heard of small humanoids being goatriders in other campaign worlds.

    I guess that churchs of Erik and Kriesha may also have wolf or other animals as a small force in their own right (ie. no riders). I suspect that they might get multi-attacks but have low morale.

    And what about the Spiders from the Spiderfell and their variations.

    >> elephant riders or artillery

    While this could be taken to be like varsk-riders, I think there would be a number of differences. I can't see archers or spearmen (or large mounted bows) being in a howdah on a varsk. Elephants can continually attack whilst charging with tusks, but the varsk would find that harder. I suspect the varsks would be faster and more maneouverable.

    >> Centaur/Wemic-like calvalry
    > Would a "Sylvan" troop type work

    I would see it as having a cavalry charge, but allow any normal humanoid weapon usage without penalty. Of course, some formations would not be possible, e.g. shield wall, tortoise.

    It'll be up to you if you want to also include aerial units, e.g. griffons, mounted or not. There has been lots of discussion on the forum this year about how rare these would be in Cerilia.

    Sorontar

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    I agree with Sorontar that Elephant cavalry are too unique to have anything else lumped in. They're just so much bigger than anything else. They're also hard to control; if scared (by fire, for instance) they can stampede indiscriminately. Horses don't like them, either.

    Camel Cavalry would be a bit different from just "desert warriors," I think. They're not as fast as horses, and not as easy to train, but they can carry more, are hardier travelers and foragers, and almost all horses spook at the smell of them, unless well accustomed to them. Camel Cavalry has historically routed enemy horse cavalry just by being upwind of them.

    I think you need a Cavalry, Medium. Light cavalry tends to be lightly armed and armored, with not much barding for the horses. Heavy is extremely expensive and well armored. Medium would cover chainmail armors and some barding. Tactics are different, too. Light cavalry are almost exclusively for harassment. Heavy Cavalry are to run down massed units. Medium cavalry can fill either role to some degree.

    Horse Archers
    Halberdiers
    Crossbowmen

    I didn't see Infantry on your list--as in swordsmen or axemen (technically anyone unmounted is infantry, but I'm talking in the traditional sense used in BR). Lightly armed and armored infantry would typically be irregulars (they could be given more formation training, but what's the point?). Medium infantry is what we'd be talking about as standard, I would think. Heavy infantry also matters quite a bit--the Romans were most successful when their heavy infantry was kept up.

    Do you have modifiers for the different races?

    A lot depends on how generalized you're trying to make it versus how detailed.

  8. #8
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    At 03:04 AM 8/14/2009, irdeggman wrote:

    >>Instead of getting too specific about the type of mounts, how about 'Beastriders" to portray any army that features large animals/monsters like elephants, giant lizards, etc.?
    >
    >Aren`t varsk a subset of that already? - seems to be an overlap (at least on first thought)


    Though they are very large lizards, varsks are about horse-sized, right? For this one, I`m thinking of a general troop type to portray really big mounts. There are giant lizards in BR products, so that`s a possibility....

    I imagine the difference would be that certain very large mounts wouldn`t really affect the speed of a troop type. Having horses or varsks in a military unit could (though it`s debatable how much of an effect they`d really have) but elephants are more big, lumbering animals as mounts rather than relatively quick ones--devastating in attack, not so great on the march.

    Actually, I don`t think anyone has found actual elephants in any of the original materials, have they? There are mammoths, but for some reason I imagine those animals as less trainable than the typical Indian/Asian elephant....

    There should also be rules to govern access to such things, like the rules on varsk ranches, but that`s a subject for another thread....


    At 03:24 AM 8/14/2009, Sorontar wrote:

    >And what about the Spiders from the Spiderfell and their variations.

    There definitely needs to be some sort of mechanic to portray the various "animal" units... but rather than articular every single one that exists or might exist, I`m planning on doing just a few and then giving some guidelines on how to create unique ones.

    >It`ll be up to you if you want to also include aerial units, e.g. griffons, mounted or not. There has been lots of discussion on the forum this year about how rare these would be in Cerilia.


    Like the previous type, I think it should be articulated in some way. I hate the battlespell rules, but at the very least that concept does exist in the core materials through that system. There`s no reason why someone couldn`t do something similar with other methods.... So, like the previous special ability, my plan is to have a couple of examples and then leave it up to individuals to create their own should they need to.

    If there was a rule for a military unit mounted on, say, hippogriffs and then another for a unit using some sort of enchantment/magic items/spell effects, then that should cover it, right?

    Gary
    Last edited by Thelandrin; 08-14-2009 at 07:59 PM.

  9. #9
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    Here`s an updated list of troop types.

    Just so folks have an idea what I`m going for here: The idea for this system is that the basic types of military units are portrayed as simple levels rather than individual companies of soldiers, allowing military activities to be resolved in a way that more closely resembles the way domain actions - and the domain system as a whole - function. Rather than bust out a stack of cards and a battlemap when wars occur, the action can be resolved with nothing more than some dice and whatever the DM/players are using as record sheets. Battles occur in a very simple process with only a few stats needed.

    However, in order to preserve the flavour of the original warcards (and because it just strikes me as kind of cool) I`m including these different types of troops. I`m calling the troop types "special qualities" that a military unit can take on. An "Army(4)" might then become an "Army(4)-archers, light cavalry" to reflect it having an emphasis on archery and light mounts, or lightly mounted archers if one wants to interpret it that way.

    Part of this project is that it includes ALL military activities (I hope) so I`m including naval combat. Hence, the various ship types. Folks have come up with some great points for additional land troops types. Any naval units that should be added to the list below?

    ARMY TROOP TYPES
    Archers
    Aerial
    Beastriders
    Berserks
    Bowmen
    Cavalry, heavy
    Cavalry, light
    Companions
    Crossbowmen
    Dart
    Elites
    Enchanted, flyers
    Enchanted,
    Engineers
    Fanatics
    Forager
    Forester
    Infiltrators
    Irregulars
    Longships
    Mountaineer
    Mounts
    Partisan
    Phalanx
    Pikemen
    Rangers
    Scouts
    Shapeshifters
    Spellcasters, arcane
    Spellcasters, divine
    Sylvan
    Undead
    Varsks
    Wastelanders
    Wolfriders

    NAVAL TROOP TYPES
    Boarders
    Caravel
    Cog
    Dhoura
    Drakkar
    Knarr
    Marines
    Roundship
    Towerships
    Zebec

    Gary
    Last edited by Thelandrin; 08-20-2009 at 09:13 PM. Reason: Fix the list per Sorontar's post

  10. #10
    Site Moderator Sorontar's Avatar
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    I gather that Longships, Cog and Knarr are supposed to be in the naval list not the army list.

    Sorontar

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