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Brother Oni
2018-07-17, 01:43 AM
Real World Weapon, Armour and Tactics Thread XXVI

This thread is a resource for getting information about real life weapons, armour and tactics. The concept has always been that the information is for RPG players and DMs so they can use it to make their games better, thus it's here rather than in Friendly Banter.

A few rules for this thread:


This thread is for asking questions about how weapons, armour and tactics really work. As such, it's not going to include game rule statistics. If you have such a question, especially if it stems from an answer or question in this thread, feel free to start a new thread and include a link back to here. If you do ask a rule question here, you'll be asked to move it elsewhere, and then we'll be happy to help out with it.

Any weapon or time period is open for questions. Medieval and ancient warfare questions seem to predominate, but since there are many games set in other periods as well, feel free to ask about any weapon. This includes futuristic ones - but be aware that these will be likely assessed according to their real life feasibility. Thus, phasers, for example, will be talked about in real-world science and physics terms rather than the Star Trek canon. If you want to discuss a fictional weapon from a particular source according to the canonical explanation, please start a new thread for it.

Please try to cite your claims if possible. If you know of a citation for a particular piece of information, please include it. However, everyone should be aware that sometimes even the experts don't agree, so it's quite possible to have two conflicting answers to the same question. This isn't a problem; the asker of the question can examine the information and decide which side to go with. The purpose of the thread is to provide as much information as possible. Debates are fine, but be sure to keep it a friendly debate (even if the experts can't!).

No modern real-world political discussion. As the great Carl von Clausevitz once said, "War is merely the continuation of policy by other means," so politics and war are heavily intertwined. However, politics are a big hot-button issue and one banned on these boards, so avoid political analysis if at all possible (this thread is primarily about military hardware and tactics). There's more leeway on this for anything prior to about 1800, but be very careful with all of it, and anything past 1900 is surely not open for analysis (These are arbitrary dates but any dates would be, and these are felt to be reasonable).

No graphic descriptions. War is violent, dirty, and horrific, and anyone discussing it should be keenly aware of that. However, on this board graphic descriptions of violence (or sexuality) are not allowed, so please avoid them.


With that done, have at and enjoy yourselves!

Thread I (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?24294-Got-A-Weapon-or-Armor-Question)
Thread III (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?21318-Got-a-Real-World-Weapon-or-Armor-Question-III)
Thread IV (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?18302-Got-a-Real-World-Weapon-or-Armor-Question-Mk-IV)
Thread V (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?80863-Got-a-Real-World-Weapon-or-Armor-Question-Mk-V)
Thread VI (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?124683-Got-a-Real-World-Weapon-or-Armor-Question-Mk-VI)
Thread VII (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?168432-Got-a-Real-World-Weapon-or-Armor-Question-Mk-VII)
Thread VIII (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?192911-Got-a-Real-World-Weapon-or-Armor-Question-Mk-VIII)
Thread IX (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?217159-Got-a-Real-World-Weapon-or-Armor-Question-Mk-IX)
Thread X (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?238042-Got-a-Real-World-Weapons-or-Armour-Question-Mk-X)
Thread XI (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?255453-Got-a-Real-World-Weapons-or-Armour-Question-Mk-XI)
Thread XII (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?282471-Got-a-Real-World-Weapons-or-Armour-Question-Mk-XII)
Thread XIII (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?308462-Got-a-Real-World-Weapons-or-Armour-Question-Mk-XIII)
Thread XIV (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?327994-Got-a-Real-World-Weapon-or-Armor-Question-Mk-XIV)
Thread XV (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?347806-Got-a-Real-World-Weapon-or-Armour-Question-Mk-XV)
Thread XVI (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?371623-Got-a-Real-World-Weapon-Armor-or-Tactics-Question-Mk-XVI)
Thread XVII (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?392804-Got-a-Real-World-Weapon-Armor-or-Tactics-Question-Mk-XVII)
Thread XVIII (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?421723-Got-a-Real-World-Weapon-Armor-or-Tactics-Question-Mk-XVIII)
Thread XIX (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?454083-Got-a-Real-World-Weapon-Armor-or-Tactics-Question-Mk-XIX)
Thread XX (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?480058-Got-a-Real-World-Weapon-Armor-or-Tactics-Question-Mk-XX)
Thread XXI (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?493127-Got-a-Real-World-Weapon-Armor-or-Tactics-Question-Mk-XXI)
Thread XXII (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?503643-Got-a-Real-World-Weapon-Armor-or-Tactics-Question-Mk-XXII)
Thread XXIII (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?518251-Got-a-Real-World-Weapon-Armor-or-Tactics-Question-Mk-XXIII)
Thread XXIV (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?532903-Got-a-Real-World-Weapon-Armor-or-Tactics-Question-Mk-XXIV)
Thread XXV (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?548448-Got-a-Real-World-Weapon-Armor-or-Tactics-Question-Mk-XXV)

Sam113097
2018-07-17, 01:53 AM
I have a question regarding weaponry. I'm working on a setting with one culture based heavily on ancient South America/Polynesia, and another on the ancient Middle East. Regarding the islanders' weapons, basing myself mostly on this website http://www.mythichawaii.com/weapons.htm, I've identified pikes, spears, shark-toothed clubs, slings, daggers and small axes. Now, here's my question: would a culture with such weapons stand any chance against Bronze-Age metal weapons and armor? And if not, what could I change or give to the islanders to make it a fair fight?

Vinyadan
2018-07-17, 04:19 AM
I'm posting to have the discussion more visible on my machine, nothing to see here :smalltongue:

Brother Oni
2018-07-17, 06:27 AM
I have a question regarding weaponry. I'm working on a setting with one culture based heavily on ancient South America/Polynesia, and another on the ancient Middle East. Regarding the islanders' weapons, basing myself mostly on this website http://www.mythichawaii.com/weapons.html, I've identified pikes, spears, shark-toothed clubs, slings, daggers and small axes. Now, here's my question: would a culture with such weapons stand any chance against Bronze-Age metal weapons and armor? And if not, what could I change or give to the islanders to make it a fair fight?

More detail on the scenario please.

Assuming equal numbers on a flat battleground in a set piece battle with the islanders against an experienced, organised, professional army (say the Qin Dynasty Chinese), the islanders are getting slaughtered.

In a defensive guerrilla warfare scenario with the islanders using attack and fade tactics with home territory advantage, the bronze age army are likely to lose by attrition as they're forced to retreat when their casualties mount up.

This is before you take environment into account - tropical environments tend to have much nastier diseases, although it can work both ways (eg the effects of smallpox on the native peoples of the Americas when the Europeans turned up).

Edit: By the way, your link is broken: http://www.mythichawaii.com/weapons.htm

Galloglaich
2018-07-17, 09:40 AM
More detail on the scenario please.

Assuming equal numbers on a flat battleground in a set piece battle with the islanders against an experienced, organised, professional army (say the Qin Dynasty Chinese), the islanders are getting slaughtered.

In a defensive guerrilla warfare scenario with the islanders using attack and fade tactics with home territory advantage, the bronze age army are likely to lose by attrition as they're forced to retreat when their casualties mount up.

This is before you take environment into account - tropical environments tend to have much nastier diseases, although it can work both ways (eg the effects of smallpox on the native peoples of the Americas when the Europeans turned up).

Edit: By the way, your link is broken: http://www.mythichawaii.com/weapons.htm

Hardwood war-clubs, and the various thrown weapons of the types used by Polynesians can be surprisingly effective when the warriors are well organized. The Maori for example actually gave the British a couple of pretty good fights. This battle gives a pretty good example of an ideal set piece from the Polynesian side. The Maori adapted quickly to English weaponry and adapted their tactics (they did also have some firearms of their own in this incident).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flagstaff_War#Attack_on_Heke's_p%C4%81_at_Puketutu

Ultimately the advantages of firearms and trained discipline won out but I'm not sure an equivalent Bronze Age army could have achieved victory.

"It was several days before the entire expedition was gathered at the Waimate Mission, by which time Despard was apoplectic, so much so that when Tāmati Wāka Nene arrived with 250 men, Despard said that if he had wanted the assistance of savages, he would have asked for it. Fortunately, the interpreter delivered a completely different message. "

This is particularly hilarious:

"After two days of bombardment without effecting a breach, Despard ordered a frontal assault. He was, with difficulty, persuaded to postpone this pending the arrival of a 32-pound naval gun, which came the next day, 1 July. However an unexpected sortie from the pā resulted in the temporary occupation of the knoll on which Tāmati Wāka Nene had his camp and the capture of Nene's colours - the Union Jack. The Union Jack was carried into the pā. There it was hoisted, upside down, and at half-mast high, below the Māori flag, which was a Kākahu (Māori cloak).[1]

followed by "[email protected]!". I am certain the Maori were sticking their tongues out at the British in their characteristic fashion. The results were predictable.

"This insulting display of the Union Jack was the cause of the disaster which ensued.[14] Infuriated by the insult, Colonel Despard ordered an assault upon the pā the same day. The attack was directed at the section of the pā where the angle of the palisade allowed a double flank from which the defenders of the pā could fire at the attackers; the attack was a reckless endeavour.[41] The British persisted in their attempts to storm the unbreached palisades and five to seven minutes later 33 were dead and 66 injured.[32] The casualties included Captain Grant of the 58th Regiment and Lieutenant Phillpotts of HMS Hazard.[42]"

G

VoxRationis
2018-07-17, 11:20 AM
Bear in mind, though, that the Maori had muskets in that battle, and that the British troops, being unarmored, were vulnerable to melee weapons in the event that things did close to that distance. The described scenario, to the extent that we have it, would be different.

Mabn
2018-07-17, 01:15 PM
going on a tangent from the last thread's discussion, if this thread were designing a weapon for Klingons to use in melee combat, what would it look like? Klingons having redundant backups for every vital organs and an extremely overbuilt skeletal structure, I assume the weapon in question would be hugely overbuilt compared to the one's used by a species that can die from having their throats cut by a strait razor, but I am interested in conjecture about what weapon that would be.

Brother Oni
2018-07-17, 02:00 PM
Hardwood war-clubs, and the various thrown weapons of the types used by Polynesians can be surprisingly effective when the warriors are well organized. The Maori for example actually gave the British a couple of pretty good fights.

The Maori are a particularly warlike people and given to raiding/fighting other tribes often. I'm not aware of the native Hawaiians being as aggressive scratch that - I'm currently on a wiki walk of King Kamehameha I (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamehameha_I) and yup, they knew how to fight as well.

That scales things more towards the islanders, but I'm still in favour of the Bronze Age army in a set piece battle given equal numbers, simply for the armour and superior missile weapons (unless the humidity knackers the crossbow/bow strings or something).

On a side note, the Maori habit of sticking the tongue isn't an insult, it's a threat of "I'm going to kill you and eat you"; the Maori were known for cannibalism.


going on a tangent from the last thread's discussion, if this thread were designing a weapon for Klingons to use in melee combat, what would it look like? Klingons having redundant backups for every vital organs and an extremely overbuilt skeletal structure, I assume the weapon in question would be hugely overbuilt compared to the one's used by a species that can die from having their throats cut by a strait razor, but I am interested in conjecture about what weapon that would be.

Probably something dedicated for dismemberment or for extreme penetration. Two handed swords, big bladed polearms (eg glaive, guandao), spears (probably boar spears and the like to stop overpenetration) and rondel daggers/poignards in my opinion.

Jaelommiss
2018-07-17, 02:29 PM
going on a tangent from the last thread's discussion, if this thread were designing a weapon for Klingons to use in melee combat, what would it look like? Klingons having redundant backups for every vital organs and an extremely overbuilt skeletal structure, I assume the weapon in question would be hugely overbuilt compared to the one's used by a species that can die from having their throats cut by a strait razor, but I am interested in conjecture about what weapon that would be.

No matter how many hearts and lungs and brains you have, all of them depends on blood to function. You're looking for a weapon that bleeds the victim and holds them at a distance until they are combat ineffective. The strengthened skeletal system will resist cutting weapons and protect major veins and arteries. A penetrating weapon has the advantage of only needing to break a bone or rib at a single point to access the vulnerable tissue within. With more vital organs and a more robust skeletal system a klingon's mass will be higher than an equivalent human, resulting in more momentum at the same speed. With all that, I would go for something like a boar spear. It is designed to keep a charging creature at a safe distance, uses either the victim's or wielder's mass to break through ribs, and kills through horrific blood loss.

Slashing weapons are great at dealing damage to the exposed muscles, but will have a hard time landing a lethal blow if they cannot get past bones. Blunt and chopping weapons are especially dangerous when they can break bones, but that is going to be a less effective avenue of attack in this case. Light thrusting weapons (almost anything designed to be used with one hand) will have a hard time penetrating deeply enough to bleed the target. Heavy thrusting weapons that can use the wielder's increased weight will be the one type of weapon that will not have reduced effectiveness.

If the heavier skeletal system allows for increased muscle mass and strength then blunt weapons may still be viable. However, the square-cube law suggests that gains in strength will be smaller than gains in weight. Penetrating weapons that utilize body weight should remain more effective.

Naturally, this will all depend on how severe the changes are. If they are within ±25% of human measurements then weapons similar to what humans use should still be effective.

Vinyadan
2018-07-17, 05:12 PM
No matter how many hearts and lungs and brains you have, all of them depends on blood to function. You're looking for a weapon that bleeds the victim and holds them at a distance until they are combat ineffective.

Retiarii, ahoy!

Haighus
2018-07-17, 06:22 PM
No matter how many hearts and lungs and brains you have, all of them depends on blood to function. You're looking for a weapon that bleeds the victim and holds them at a distance until they are combat ineffective. The strengthened skeletal system will resist cutting weapons and protect major veins and arteries. A penetrating weapon has the advantage of only needing to break a bone or rib at a single point to access the vulnerable tissue within. With more vital organs and a more robust skeletal system a klingon's mass will be higher than an equivalent human, resulting in more momentum at the same speed. With all that, I would go for something like a boar spear. It is designed to keep a charging creature at a safe distance, uses either the victim's or wielder's mass to break through ribs, and kills through horrific blood loss.

Slashing weapons are great at dealing damage to the exposed muscles, but will have a hard time landing a lethal blow if they cannot get past bones. Blunt and chopping weapons are especially dangerous when they can break bones, but that is going to be a less effective avenue of attack in this case. Light thrusting weapons (almost anything designed to be used with one hand) will have a hard time penetrating deeply enough to bleed the target. Heavy thrusting weapons that can use the wielder's increased weight will be the one type of weapon that will not have reduced effectiveness.

If the heavier skeletal system allows for increased muscle mass and strength then blunt weapons may still be viable. However, the square-cube law suggests that gains in strength will be smaller than gains in weight. Penetrating weapons that utilize body weight should remain more effective.

Naturally, this will all depend on how severe the changes are. If they are within ±25% of human measurements then weapons similar to what humans use should still be effective.
Large, two-handed cutting weapons, like halberds, glaives, and greatswords, will probably still be effective if properly sharpened. They don't really have much difficulty cutting bone. Of course this depends on how much handwavium is applied to their alien overengineered bones TM, but it still seems plausible that a halberd will hack in deep enough to chop up arteries.

rrgg
2018-07-17, 07:02 PM
I have a question regarding weaponry. I'm working on a setting with one culture based heavily on ancient South America/Polynesia, and another on the ancient Middle East. Regarding the islanders' weapons, basing myself mostly on this website http://www.mythichawaii.com/weapons.html, I've identified pikes, spears, shark-toothed clubs, slings, daggers and small axes. Now, here's my question: would a culture with such weapons stand any chance against Bronze-Age metal weapons and armor? And if not, what could I change or give to the islanders to make it a fair fight?

Assuming both sides are equally skilled and experienced and excluding all other factors, I'd still probably give the side with bronze equipment just a minor advantage at best. The side with bronze has more options when it comes to designing weapons sure, but they're still limited in how hard they can hit somebody and how long they can wear armor without getting tired by the strength of the human body.

gkathellar
2018-07-17, 07:09 PM
I have a question regarding weaponry. I'm working on a setting with one culture based heavily on ancient South America/Polynesia, and another on the ancient Middle East. Regarding the islanders' weapons, basing myself mostly on this website http://www.mythichawaii.com/weapons.html, I've identified pikes, spears, shark-toothed clubs, slings, daggers and small axes. Now, here's my question: would a culture with such weapons stand any chance against Bronze-Age metal weapons and armor? And if not, what could I change or give to the islanders to make it a fair fight?

They could be. A lot depends on where the fighting is happening, how experienced the armies in question are, and whether they have the time or opportunity to prepare for each other. It also depends on how well-equipped the faux-Middle Eastern army actually is. The bronze age is a big period.

Epimethee
2018-07-17, 09:06 PM
Funnily, I just saw "The Dead Lands", from Toa Fraser, an action movie situated in New Zealand before the arrival of European settlers. It's an action movie, so archeological accuracy was not the main selling point, and the staginess of some actors is somewhat unnerving. That's still a different take on the revenge movie, in Maori which is great.
It's fun to see a different set of weapons than the sword, some axe and a bow used in movies, but of course the fights are heavily staged. It's not the greatest of movie but really a light and fun watch, oddly anthropological not in what it show but what imaginarium it use. So you could find something there...

Also the guys could stand a chance as long as they are able to chose the terrain, escape any kind of battle and grind their enemies. They are well equipped for long time survival in savage places.
IIRC, it was hard even for the conquistadors to fight in the Amazon forest and the climate and general environment was one of the biggest weapon of the peoples there.
The equipment of the enemy is essential as they are likely to adapt to it. As the technological and sociological discrepancies condemn them to small scale warfare, their tactics, and specifically the offensive actions, would be fairly dependent of his capacities.


And now for something completely different.

I had taken a few notes on the last discussions in the previous thread. Sadly I made a mistake and lost all of them. My lifestyle was dissolute to say the least during last week. I'm in no mood to rewrite all of that, so I will try to make a more synthetic post, to address what I identify as the main questions. There was a lot to answer to, but it can be synthesized as the question of the weight and power of the church during medieval time, its ability to shape medieval culture and sensibilities, and related to that the limits of the fragmentation of the medieval period.

In my opinion, every place, always, is a specific place. It is essential to understand that as a starting point. But at the same time you have also forces that unite some larger spaces. In a way, the Roman Empire is as diverse as any large state. At the same time it is easy to find similarities in such a huge politically coherent space. In the more fragmented space of the medieval Europe, it is easy to get lost in the specifics of each little political entity. At the same time some phenomenon are wider in reach and in my opinion grow stronger as the modern time came close.

I think you have to start by assessing the evolution of the church during this time. After the fall of Rome, the church was the only organized institution covering a large part of Europe. Over a politically and culturally fragmented Europe, its power is really weak but at the same time, it is the period of most of the conversions, in the wake of the travels of saints like Gall, Germain or Collomban.
Charlemagne is decisive in the way he entwined religion and power, but he is the exception and not the rule. In fact the church was less interested in shaping the behavior of the peoples than in offering new narratives. You find early condemnations of pagans rituals but rarely any action is taken against them. You find of course theological discussion on sacraments, but there is no real push to enforce them.

For example, the church started to impose the religious wedding to the population only by the counter-reformation. Before that, you only needed two consenting peoples, in some cases witnesses and some specifics words, to be considered wedded. The church was necessary only for the nobility and the upper classes, peoples for whom the heredity was essential. The practice survived till late in the XVII century.

But in the early medieval time, the church was really active to folklorize its narrative. The fight against the ancient customs took many forms but most where indirect. The saints took some of the attributes of old heroes and gods, like in the Golden Legend of Voragine, Ursicinus and a lot of other like him were taming the bears and other wild beast as if they were taming the old gods, the sanctuaries were growing on ancient places of worship...
The calendar was actually quite important: the church was by this mean able to disperse a lot of new imageries reframing the old customs and traditions. It was slowly but increasingly uprooting those ancient customs. Of course, peoples still scratched themselves to rocks in the hope of bearing Childs, but it was now because saint This or That was there at some point and increasingly they were going directly to his or her grave. Sure, they were sometime disguised as bears, but Carnaval was placed in the wider context of the celebration of Easter. Slowly, the old gods were relegated in the Merveilleux, a grey space of old and diminished characters on the fringe of the more important stories of christianity.

The church used of course other means, some more intellectual like the euhemerization of the old pantheons or the new aesthetic in the religious art, that was clearly not interested in the same beauty than the greco-roman. The church showed in this process amazing qualities of adaptation, and it was mainly successful, it should be stated, in emptying the old customs of their meaning.

Interestingly, the realm of Death was one of the first place where the church was able to assert his domination. Churches were used to bury the death. In a lot of places the cemeteries were places of socialization, were peoples gathered even to dance and sing. The history of this domination, then the distinction between the church and the cemetery, and lastly the quieting of the place of the dead make a very interesting subject.

As an aside, the idea of rural places as remote should be taken with a lot of precautions. The most recent studies I've read on the subject of rural societies in Europe tend to paint them as more connected to the political and historical questions of the time than was previously thought. Of course, with the political and social fragmentation of Europe after the fall of Rome, many local particularities were incubated, politically, socially and culturally but their status as a survival of ancient time is disputed as they also adapted to the specific of the time. Also it would change soon as some news ideas start to become more important.

By the XII-XIII century, you have a new perspective, not only for the church but also in the political and cultural context of the time. Forces of unification are apparent, as new and original social constructions replace the crumbling roman traditions and the olds customs. The great kingdoms and the church are central to this phenomenon, as much as they fight to profit from it. But you can see some phenomenon across Europe that shape a kind of medieval culture.

I like to use the invention and diffusion of heraldry, as a proof of a shared ideological perspective based on material culture. Born is northern France, southern England, Switzerland and Italy around 1150, it spread quickly to most of Europe. With the herald and his symbolical vocabulary, this force of unification is clearly the proof of a shared set of representations.
The same could be said about the ideology of the court, promoted by Marie de Champagne among other at the same point in time, and apparent in the chivalric literature and the fin'amor. Again its diffusion and the way it would reshape most of the occidental literature point to the possibility of a shared cultural frame.
Politically, (and here I warmly recommend "The Legend of Bouvines" from Duby, a masterpiece in tying a battle to the wider political and social context of the time, also the original read "Le Dimanche de Bouvines", Sunday of Bouvines, which is more fitting.) the kingdoms are starting to increase their centralization and the new cities reshape the economical and social landscape with trade roads that spread again across Europe.

The church is also concerned by those phenomenons. After the council of Latran (around 1215 I believe) it would think for itself a new role and increase its grip on mentalities. I like to use the figure of the devil to show this new perspective, but it is also the time of the first inquisition and the rise of the heresies.
The church was starting to see the possibility of a true orthodoxy and had the means to try to achieve it, at least in his opinion. Thus the fight against heresies that were mainly internal problems for christianity.
Accordingly, the church started to be more vocal on the right behavior. The ideology of non violence was for example more an more prevalent. From Otton de Bayeux To Matthieu Schiner and even till Richelieu, it was not uncommon for prelates to use force. They were as much secular authorities as religious figures. By the XII century, the ideology of non-violence is more prevalent, so much so that even the warrior class of the nobility felt the need to reshape his ideology in the ideology of chivalry. Some read the matter of Brittain specifically as a mean to address the problematic of the christian ideology of peace and the warrior bend of the ruling class.
Among other means to canalize violence, the church raise the military orders like teutonics and templars around the XII century. And slowly the prelates are fading on the battlefield or are relegated, like Schiner or Richelieu, in a commanding role.

Also it is the true time of the Interdiction, a mean to mobilize public opinion against kings. In this way it was often successful but was really rarely used after the XIII century.

The devil and the diffusion of his new figure, growing to an obsession by the late medieval period, show the same dynamic of cultural convergence. Early, the devil is really not that much of a deal, in the wake of the interpretation of Augustine: the devil is a tool used by good for the salvation of the faithfuls. His apparitions are few and far between and event then, they are less than spectacular: the visions of a monk like Raoul Glaber lack the monstrous elements of the later centuries.
Also devils are at first plurals, taking many forms across Europe. Often they are not really bad or good, mixed as they are in the folklore. The devil is not yet a terrifying figure and most of the time it is the subject of a farce, and humans are smarter than him. You find here really specifically the folklorization of the christian faith, using the figure of the devil to reshape old tales and stories.

Again, by the XII century, a new definition and more unified version of evil, of the devil and of hell start to appear and gain popularity all across Europe. The character gain most of its animals traits and hell its defining characteristics of fire and brimstone. The success of this new definition show that some sensibilities were converging. The actions of the devil explained the fragmented state of christianity and it is interesting, in the context of inquisition, to look at how the prosecuted evolved from the heretics to the sorcerers then the witches. More and more, the devil was projecting a darker shadow on the grey of the Merveilleux.
As an aside, the direct fight against what was seen as pagan is more something of the puritanism of the reformation. Even today most of the protestant cities have abandoned the celebration of Carnaval, never the case in catholics places. The denunciation of the pagan character of catholic faith was one of the most used critic of early Protestants.

I think all those clues among other point to a less fragmented Europe. Of course, the continent is still a tower of Babel, and you have an endless parade of specifics. But, as the political entities are growing in size and centralization, some cultural movement gain a wider reach.

By the late medieval period, the Reformation is as much the most evident proof of the victory of christianity across Europe as of the limitations of the church. Every power has always its limits so it is quite evident that the church was not able to expand endlessly. Also the clash with other growing political power was ineluctable as the kings, among others, even firm believer, were more and more inclined to assert their domination.
But the coming of Reformation is also the sign than christianity was really interiorized by the general population.
Of course, the church was impended by his meddling with power, and the growing discrepancies between a bid for domination and the necessities of faith.
Here it should be noted that the corrupt prelate is as much a literary trope as an historic reality. In fact, most of the discussions about the true path for the church predate the reformation which would expand on them. Again, towering figures like Bernard of Clairvaux and Suger show different ways of understanding faith and the splendor of the churches of Suger seem like a decadent work for the ascetic Bernard.
In this sense, not only a reaction to the corruption of the church, the Reformation can be described as the moment when the christianity was so prevalent that the different sensibilities that lived under his umbrella gain a life of their own.The huge cultural phenomenons that started centuries before are budding so much that for a time the definition of faith is a major political problem.

That's too long for a so called synthetic post and too short for such a huge amount of time. But we talk about complex and diffuse phenomenons across a huge amount of time. I hope to have made clearer my point on the possibility of balancing the local realities with more "international" phenomenons.
I mostly think that you need sometimes different scale to see different problems.

Also I had a few things to add, mostly around some reflexions of Galloglaich about Switzerland. If I remember correctly, except in places were the prelate has a right of justice and so was the temporal ruler, religious tribunal were only able to make the case and not to condemn the accused. I fail to see the difference you made in the case of the Primitive Swiss.
But more precisely, the relationship between the VIII cantons and the church should be considered linked with the conflict against the Habsburg of course, as is apparent with Sempach and the Monastery of Einsiedeln. But Glaris I think was a possession of a monastery, claimed again later by the Habsburg.
On a related the Abbess of the Fraumunster of Zurich was the ruler of the city, soon only in name but again pointing to the evolution of this relationship.
Also every place I quoted was an ally or a subject of the Swiss Confederation before 1500.

Then to everybody who was kind enough to add something to this interesting conversation: I'm sure I forget a lot of your previous reflexions, but I will go back to the old thread and see what I can do to correct this ugly behavior. I intended not to let the previous discussion go away and I will gladly take any reminder of what I missed or what is important to discuss for you.

Carl
2018-07-18, 05:21 AM
I think a number of people are being a bit harsh on the bat'leth here.

Don't get me wrong, it's a terrible weapon in a whole lotta ways, but whilst i'm sure it wasn't exactly intentional it's grip style and layout mean it really should be hell on high heels vs any kind of slashing attack, or mace/axe swings. It's got a nice broad area that's going to resist things sliding off the ends helped by the curve and the layout of spines on many variations creates good binding opportunities to catch a blade or haft with. The grip and layout also mean despite the weight it's likely to be very handy, there's just not a lot of mass away from the center of rotation tio add rotational inertia and the grip style is going to give you enormous leverage in any bind. Also whilst it;s speculative as all hell if we assume Klingons are normally ambidextrous and given comments on fighting left vs right handed people in this thread in the past i imagine it offers additional opportunity to be unpredictable.

Unfortunately it's got a lot of issues that keep it from being practical.

First because of it's poor reach, (more on that in a second), and the depth of the blade it's hard to block thrusts, you have to use the end of the weapon at a distance forward from the body, but it's going to be hard to do that vs anyone within it's reach. There's a reason quarterstaffs have much more length beyond the handles.

Second, whilst you can use either side as the leading edge you can't use bot at the same time, which limits it severely. Two independent weapons would work much better.

Third it's got serious reach problems, it's going to attack at any kind of distance and thats an issue for reasons the weapon experts cna explain for better than me.

Fourth the tines that form the sharpened blades aren't long enough, even in a piercing wound they are going to struggle to go in very deep, and they're even worse in a slashing motion.

Basically it looks like a weapon designed moe as a sort of blade shield combo, (some soft cannon sources have also claimed this), designed specifically to defend against arcing blows with bladed and blunt instruments that can also be used to counterattack with. It's much too specialised and frankly i'm sure a shield would do it better, but it does looks like it shouldn't be terrible at it either, it;s just it's bad at too many things to make a practical weapon.




Now all that said, there's a lot of variants, and the one example of an old bat'leth we've seen was a lot more practical with greater width beyond the handle, longers double edged tines and a lot less obviously wasted weight. Whilst said sword is supposed to be the first Bat'leth, if we instead assume it's actually a later sword, the simple explanation cold be that the bat'leth has suffered the klingon equivalent of fantasy sword syndrome. in which case it;s plausible, though not exactly likely that it may have grown out of some form aof balded quarterstaff with a remblace that was a lot more practical.

Sam113097
2018-07-19, 02:20 AM
Thanks for all the help! I'd like to give more details about the scenario I'm working on. (BTW, in this setting the Bronze Age guys are called the Asherites and the islanders are the Midonai)

The Midonai are attempting to hold an island from Asherite invaders, so they are entrenched and have the "home-field advantage".
The Asherites are based off of Davidic ancient Israel. They have no horses and are invading by boat.
The island where they are fighting has a large leeward side that is mainly grassland, and a mountain range on the southeast side.
I am currently planning to have the Asherites win, due in part to what all of you have said.

Knaight
2018-07-19, 02:56 AM
Thanks for all the help! I'd like to give more details about the scenario I'm working on. (BTW, in this setting the Bronze Age guys are called the Asherites and the islanders are the Midonai)

The Midonai are attempting to hold an island from Asherite invaders, so they are entrenched and have the "home-field advantage".
The Asherites are based off of Davidic ancient Israel. They have no horses and are invading by boat.
The island where they are fighting has a large leeward side that is mainly grassland, and a mountain range on the southeast side.
I am currently planning to have the Asherites win, due in part to what all of you have said.


There's a very major factor this highlights that changes things pretty dramatically - the Asherites are invading by boat. Polynesian boats have been seaworthy to the point of working well on the open ocean for a very long time, and that's a rare thing. Most bronze age Mediterranean ships needed to beach often and had absolutely no business being anywhere near the Pacific. They just weren't well suited for that much time in the water, for the sort of storms the Pacific sees, or often even for how bad the water conditions can get outside of a storm.

There's a famous instance in military history of a Mongol attack on Japan ending because they got destroyed in a storm, which is pretty well confirmed, and another of basically the same thing which is a little less confirmed. This is potentially illustrative of what happens repeatedly here.

Epimethee
2018-07-19, 05:28 AM
Ok, even more than the relative capabilities of ships, the mere fact that Asherite are invader and the insular position of the Midonai changes a lot of thing.

As a preamble, remember the New Zealand wars in the XIX century, the difficulties of the English and the way the indigenous people were more able than say in America to preserve their cultural identity in the new political and cultural order.
(According at least to a very interesting e-book on interstellar communication from Nasa, who compared, among other amazing subjects, historical process of colonization in the hope to shine a light on what happen when two society with different technology meet. In any case a very recommended read, and totally free here: https://www.nasa.gov/connect/ebooks/archaeology_anthropology_and_interstellar_communic ation.html and I reference here the chapter 9 Contact Considerations: A Cross-Cultural Perspective by Douglas Raybeck)

First, invading is always the easy part. The keeping is the hard part. With the sea between the colonies and the metropolis it is even harder. According to Bronze Age technology, the seaways are likely to be slow and dangerous.

In my opinion, in a fight, any Phoenician ship is able to outfight a canoe. The relative seaworthiness of both faction is here not so relevant as I fail to see the Midonai engage in naval operations. Maybe some ambush or nocturnal raids but the technological superiority and more urbanized setting of the Asherite should give them bigger boats, and the possibility to raise a huge naval force.

The true main problem would be reinforcement and supplies.

As you describe it, I imagine a scenario a bit like that: Asherite come on the grassy side of the island. They come with a huge force and more or less unimpeded. They may even have diplomatic meeting with some islander that convince them they are the new leaders of the island, with huge proclamations and monuments to impose their view. It may be understood quite differently by the Midonai.(A good inspiration could be the diplomatic exchanges between the crown of Spain and the Comanche empire, as they were in so different political world that the crown could claim sovereignty and at the same time the comanches were implementing their own sphere of power, as described by Pekka Hämäläinen in The Comanche Empire.)

Of course, the Asherites cannot stay in the island with such a force for too long, so they depart with only a little garrison behind them. Here the distance between the island and the metropolis is important. At the very least I imagine a few weeks or months of travel but that's only for the travel. The asherites should stay alone for quite some time.
By this point, frictions are increasing. Again, the different understanding of the situation open the conflict. The invaders think they can manage the island, for the islander it is mainly like a new tribe that they treat more or less like any other.
So for example the Midonai could totally take some of the Asherite things, an act that they understood as part of the usual exchange of possessions between neighbors but that is understood as thievery by the Asherites. The Asherites try to impose their view on justice and the conflicts start to grow.
You could also take an easier road and go for the Asherites warriors and their need of women. Even in this case the main problem should be the disorder it create in the social life of the midonai, disrupting the equilibrium between tribes and families.

Ideally, this should take place before the next arrival of asherites settlers. Before they come, the situation should have deteriorated and the asherites on the island are reduced to a more or less besieged ragtag in their first colony.

Then the metropolis react.

As you describe your island, I think the midonai can hold easily the mountainous part of the island. The asherites are likely to build a city and a fortress, maybe some guard posts, on the grassy part of the island and use that as their basis to enter the mountainous part.
Here, everything is harder: the enemy disappear or strike in the darkness, the terrain is so difficult it grind the troops faster than the fights, the supplies are ambushed regularly...
The metropolis need huge forces and a regular supply of fresh troops to really reduce the midonai, and even then, they are more likely to hide and strike back later. The cost of the battle is so high for a relatively little benefit, as the Asherites are well able to keep the grassy part. They start organizing it, with fields and villages.

So the most likely outcome is a kind of standoff, each group controlling a part of the island.

Brother Oni
2018-07-19, 06:27 AM
Thanks for all the help! I'd like to give more details about the scenario I'm working on. (BTW, in this setting the Bronze Age guys are called the Asherites and the islanders are the Midonai)

The Midonai are attempting to hold an island from Asherite invaders, so they are entrenched and have the "home-field advantage".
The Asherites are based off of Davidic ancient Israel. They have no horses and are invading by boat.
The island where they are fighting has a large leeward side that is mainly grassland, and a mountain range on the southeast side.
I am currently planning to have the Asherites win, due in part to what all of you have said.


I agree with Knaight - invading during typhoon season has a significant chance of 'winds blow, you all die' and the Midonai are well versed in dealing with tropical storms. This also makes the sailing distance significant, primarily for the seaworthiness of the Asherite ships, with reinforcement and re-supply running a close second.

You still haven't listed the numbers involved, which will dictate how many ships the Asherites will need and the size of the island the Midonai are living on.

Speculating on the numbers first using the Kingdom of Hawaii; during King Kamehameha's war of unification, it's said that he had an army of 16,000 warriors. The population of the Kingdom of Hawaii was conservatively estimated to be 400,000 so that number of fighting fit men probably isn't too much of an exaggeration. The big island of Hawaii is also a fairly substantial size (~4,000 square miles), giving a lot of terrain diversity and space for manoeuvring (assuming the Midonai live on a single island).

Biremes (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bireme) were the ships used during the same approximate period as the 10th Century BC Kingdom of Israel; these had a crew of ~120 rowers (who would also be the soldiers) and could carry an extra ~20 crew (using the same crew:rower ratio as the later trieme) for a total of 140 bodies per ship. Assuming equal numbers, that's 115 ships the Asherites will need - a fleet of that size would be easily spotted, so the Midonai could contest the Asherite landing, significantly skewing the odds.
Edit: Biremes are apparently a lot more seaworthy than triremes, from the voyage of the Ivlia (http://www.ivlia.com/en.html), a modern reconstruction of a small-ish bireme (44 crew). That said, the furthest they went out to open sea was the Bay of Biscay, which can get nasty during the winter months, but still not quite on the same scale of a tropical storm.

Even if the Asherites land uncontested on the grassland part, the Midonai would most likely do most of the fighting in the jungles and mountains and simply wait for the Asherites to run out of provisions (dependent on resupply times). A question on the winds - you say that the grassland is on the leeward side of the island, is that towards or away from the general direction of the Asherite attack? While the winds wouldn't affect the biremes rate of travel as much, Polynesian vessels are much more wind powered and could potentially outsail and harass Asherite ships at will for as long as the Asherites had ammunition.

I think in a straight up fight on the Asherites terms, they would win - the problem is, they would never be fighting on their terms. Between the sea (dependent on distance), environment and Midonai tactics/interference (eg they start interdicting the Asherite supply lines), the islanders would probably force a stalemate at least, at which point the Asherites would lose on attrition.

Clistenes
2018-07-19, 06:34 AM
In my opinion, in a fight, any Phoenician ship is able to outfight a canoe. The relative seaworthiness of both faction is here not so relevant as I fail to see the Midonai engage in naval operations. Maybe some ambush or nocturnal raids but the technological superiority and more urbanized setting of the Asherite should give them bigger boats, and the possibility to raise a huge naval force.

I would like to point that most of the historical piracy was done using boats that were no bigger than say viking drakkars...

Spaniards, Italians and Maltese often used bergantines and fragatas that were basically long boats without a deck. Their muslim counterparts used similar ships. Only the richest, most successful raiders could afford galliots or jabeques, and by the time they could afford true galleys, they tended to focus on the raiding of coastal settlements rather than seeking ships (galleys whose oarsmen are fighting men carried enough manpower to overpower villages, but were very expensive to keep, so better go were you know you will find preys for sure, rather than waste time seeking merchant vessels...). There were exceptions, of course, and galleys were sometimes sent to attack rich convoys or individual carracks, gallions and great merchant galleys...

The Croatian Uskoci were known for being able to take Venetian great galleys using just small boats (they were ambush hunters...).

Most piracy around Malasya, Indonesia and the Red Sea and Persian Gulf was done with similar ships. I think the Buccaneers used similar ships before they were able to upgrade...

So I think the islanders can become quite a pain in the ass if they are adaptable enough. At the very least they can prevent imperial ships from visiting the island without a strong escort...

EDIT: A relevant point... the Midonese inhabit a single island, or an archipielago with many small islands with many places to hide? And if their island is relatively isolated... are we speaking of a Madagascar-sized island, of a Bali-sized island, or what...?

Epimethee
2018-07-19, 08:30 AM
@Clistenes: Agreed, but you talk about piracy. A warship was another kind of prey, even if you can find some crazy guys like Surcouf or Decatur to trump the odds.
The midonai could easily become a pain in the supply line ass but I doubt they would represent a true menace for the warships in sufficient number.



I agree with Knaight - invading during typhoon season has a significant chance of 'winds blow, you all die' and the Midonai are well versed in dealing with tropical storms. This also makes the sailing distance significant, primarily for the seaworthiness of the Asherite ships, with reinforcement and re-supply running a close second.

That's it if the island is in a tropical setting. Even without that, the points you raise about supply and distance are essentials. A tropical season may be a good narrative tool in any case.


Biremes (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bireme) were the ships used during the same approximate period as the 10th Century BC Kingdom of Israel; these had a crew of ~120 rowers (who would also be the soldiers) and could carry an extra ~20 crew (using the same crew:rower ratio as the later trieme) for a total of 140 bodies per ship. Assuming equal numbers, that's 115 ships the Asherites will need - a fleet of that size would be easily spotted, so the Midonai could contest the Asherite landing, significantly skewing the odds.

Even if the Asherites land uncontested on the grassland part, the Midonai would most likely do most of the fighting in the jungles and mountains and simply wait for the Asherites to run out of provisions (dependent on resupply times). A question on the winds - you say that the grassland is on the leeward side of the island, is that towards or away from the general direction of the Asherite attack? While the winds wouldn't affect the biremes rate of travel as much, Polynesian vessels are much more wind powered and could potentially outsail and harass Asherite ships at will for as long as the Asherites had ammunition.

I like your estimations. I was more inclined to take the Phoenicians warships as a basis. (In fact I was using an Osprey, Warships of the Ancient World, as my main source.) As much as a Polynesian war waka is impressive (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waka_(canoe)) it should be noted that they were intended for a kind of ramming maneuver.
The Phoenician ship was more seaworthy than most of the others ships of the time. The high fighting deck give him also a strong advantage in naval battle. To quote Osprey:

"The most curious feature of the Khorsabad warships was the high ghting- deck. The ships in the relief are stylized and shortened due to artistic convention, but a high deck required a stable ship to prevent capsizing. The fighting-deck was mounted on stanchions inside the line of the rowers, and ran along the length of the vessel but not across its full beam. The ship would need a greater beam-to-length ratio for stability and to carry more supplies, particularly since Phoenician warships would undertake longer journeys than the short coast-hugging trips of Classical triremes. A reconstruction requires a length of at least 18m and a beam of perhaps 3m, resulting in a ratio of 6:1. Under oars this ship would make less speed than a comparable later ship of the same number of oars, but was compensated by greater height for archery and boarding actions."

Against such ships, the midonai would certainly be reduced to a kind of harassment tactic. As noted, they would have the advantage of speed.

My only problem with the scenario of midonai contesting the first landing is that you have to assume an unified island and a full scale invasion at the start. It is possible, depending of the chronology, but it would mean a lot of things before this scene.
The asherite need to have a deep knowledge of the island before this invasion. More than hundred vessels mean an organized operation. You don't send them on a colonization trip.
So the first contact would likely be on a smaller scale. Then you have two political possibilities: the island is unified or divided. My previous post assumed a divided island.
In this case the armada would come at best in the third wave, after the metropolis know of the situation on the island. At this point it is likely that some tribes could assemble and fight together.

If we start with an unified island, the task of the asherite is different. Certainly they would start with commercial outposts. They would also recognize the terrain, the best landing places, and try to profit, or at least be aware of the political situation on the island. Maybe they would even be able to build a stronghold.
In such scenario, the invasion may have been planned from the beginning or arise as a reaction to the political situation on the island.
Here you have to look at the probable allies the invaders would have found on the island.
In both case, such full scale invasion would be a pivoting moment in a ongoing relationship.



I think in a straight up fight on the Asherites terms, they would win - the problem is, they would never be fighting on their terms. Between the sea (dependent on distance), environment and Midonai tactics/interference (eg they start interdicting the Asherite supply lines), the islanders would probably force a stalemate at least, at which point the Asherites would lose on attrition.

As you said, the distance between the metropolis and the colonies is essential to evaluate the effect of attrition. In my opinion a stalemate is more likely as the actions of the asherites are susceptible to impede the midonai as much as they are impended. The grassy part of the island is likely the richest agricultural landscape. By holding it, the asherite limits the supplies of the midonai. If they hold it long enough, they may even become less dependent of supply lines. But that's only if. a somewhat regular supply line can be established first.

Lea Plath
2018-07-19, 08:33 AM
What is the best siege weapon for destroying a medieval town.

Knaight
2018-07-19, 08:38 AM
@Clistenes: Agreed, but you talk about piracy. A warship was another kind of prey, even if you can find some crazy guys like Surcouf or Decatur to trump the odds.
The midonai could easily become a pain in the supply line ass but I doubt they would represent a true menace for the warships in sufficient number.

These supply lines are already tenuous, being made out of oceangoing ships that have no business being oceangoing ships. Attacking them creates the opportunity to do a lot of damage or tie up a lot of resources preventing that damage, and cut supply lines for an invasion force in unfamiliar territory is a serious matter. "An army marches on its stomach" and all that.

Epimethee
2018-07-19, 09:16 AM
I still think weather and distance are the most dangerous problem.

In my opinion, you have to assume oceangoing ship to even postulate the scenario. The real and historical ships are just here for comparison. I assume the asherai as neighboring an ocean and good enough to reach the island in conditions comparable to what the Phoenicians were able to achieve in Mediterranean Sea. I don't think they would use the exact same ships.

The Phoenicians had a good balance between fighting ships and transport capacities. Nevertheless, any convoy should be escorted. And again in my opinion the problem here is more operational than tactical.
If you have, say, one or two weeks of travel, and the ability to raise a hundred ships or more, it is easy to imagine a garrison of say 20 to 30 warships around the island and a rotation with the ships used to protect the supply lines. You have well rested but well prepared troops and enough superiority to protect most of your ships. A tour of duty would only take a few months.

According to the distance, the climate, the size of the troops in place and the need of escorting the supply, the size of the operation could be excessively high. If you have a month of travel, or more, the ships need to stay longer afloat, you need a lot more ships to achieve the same standard of supply, either bigger convoy or more of them. The warships would stay longer on the sea but for less time in the island, as the need for refitting would grow rapidly, the men would be more tired and son on... The attacks of the midonai are certainly essential but in my opinion the geographical conditions are more important.

So the distance between the metropolis and the island is to clarify before going any further on the subject.

Epimethee
2018-07-19, 09:36 AM
What is the best siege weapon for destroying a medieval town.

Sorry I missed your post!

Most siege weapons were not intended to destroy the towns but the fortifications. So fire, the most dangerous foe of most medieval towns, was less used than you would think offensively. It was more often a weapon of the defenders to destroy the siege engines.

But if you would destroy a town, as opposed to taking it, fire is the easiest way to go. Then you have many option, from the humble arrow to variations on the greek fire and even specialized containers.

Galloglaich
2018-07-19, 11:22 AM
The Maori are a particularly warlike people and given to raiding/fighting other tribes often. I'm not aware of the native Hawaiians being as aggressive scratch that - I'm currently on a wiki walk of King Kamehameha I (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamehameha_I) and yup, they knew how to fight as well.

Yep, the various Polynesian cultures shared a lot of martial traditions and weapons, not unlike those found in North America (and far earlier, in Europe)



That scales things more towards the islanders, but I'm still in favour of the Bronze Age army in a set piece battle given equal numbers, simply for the armour and superior missile weapons (unless the humidity knackers the crossbow/bow strings or something).

That would depend on the Bronze Age army, some relied mainly on thrown weapons and didn't use massed archers so far as I know. I do think almost any Bronze Age Army would have an edge in the open field, but the Maori or equivalent might have an edge close-in. So which general forced the other to fight on their preferred terrain would have the edge, so to speak.



On a side note, the Maori habit of sticking the tongue isn't an insult, it's a threat of "I'm going to kill you and eat you"; the Maori were known for cannibalism.

Can't it be both?

G

Galloglaich
2018-07-19, 11:54 AM
Funnily, I just saw "The Dead Lands", from Toa Fraser, an action movie situated in New Zealand before the arrival of European settlers. It's an action movie, so archeological accuracy was not the main selling point, and the staginess of some actors is somewhat unnerving. That's still a different take on the revenge movie, in Maori which is great.

I saw it too, it was fun interesting for the reasons you enumerate though also of course pretty silly. Definitely worth watching though for most DnD fans I would say.

Medieval Marriages outside of the Church.

-this is definitely quite true. Most marriage were done with just a few witnesses, and they would sometimes pay a priest to write down the event after (sometimes long after) the marriage. Many marriages took place after a casual tryst during Carnival. In Bohemia they were often conducted by a witchy sort of 'Midwife' type character.

Paganism not being attacked

- I think this is partly true. The Church concentrated their aggression much more on Heresy which is not the same thing as paganism. Variations on "The Brand" of the Church were ruthlessly crushed, paganism was usually more indirectly treated. However that said, pagans had no rights, and until they had accepted Baptism it was legal and even lauded to rob, kidnap, or kill them. Sell them to the Turks or Mongols into slavery - this was practiced widely in Eastern Europe (with 'Schismatic' Orthodox Christians also lumped in with pagans) and later was transferred to Africans. Only the highly effective military resistance by such pagan polities as the Grand Duchy of Lithuania forced them to even consider a true "live and let live" policy which was floated as a legal idea by the Poles and later by the Czechs but rejected by the Church.

States are becoming more centralized


-only some States. France is, Spain is, England is. HRE isn't. Bohemia isn't. Italy certainly isn't. Flanders isn't (or, the man who tries it dies in the attempt). Poland isn't.

Prelates were becoming less violent.

-Definitely NOT TRUE. I can't point out a dozen warlike and extremely violent, you might say ultraviolent prelates active in the 15th Century.

Church Art vs. Greco Roman art

-I think the former clearly converged toward the latter at an accelerating rate in the 14th and 15th Centuries. If you walk through modern Cathedrals and large Churches in places like Florence or Venice, or even the Vatican they are almost more temples to Art (with a strong Classical influence) than to Jesus or God. It's all naked people and Greek mythology.

Influence of Heraldry
- as I alreeday said, I think this is seriously overstated. French heraldry in particular had a lot of influence with the princely Estates, but that was hardly universal the princely Estates

Carnival

- Carnival was out of control of the Church and in fact, increasingly so in the later medieval period. including the rapidly developing Carnival Theater and art genres. it is among other things specifically where highly subversive "counter-memes" ridiculing official and princely ideas over things like heraldry were on (often extremely rude) display. Anything goes at Carnival, including and especially politically incorrect and images offensive to those in power. it's something hard to understand unless you live somewhere where they actually have carnival. This is why the Church and secular princes ended up stamping it out in many places during the Reformation and Counter-Reformation (Carnival ended in many towns in Europe in the 16th Century). Only where the local political hierarchy was needed to maintain order were they unable to end it (usually in Catholic towns).

Interdict "rarely used after the XIII century"

- STRONGLY disagree!!!!!!!!!! I'm astounded that anyone could say that. Most of Central Europe was under interdict at one time or another thoughout the 15th Century. If you want me to start citing examples I will list them.

Church and the Swiss

- yes there were still Church entities Keep in mind the Abess of the Fraumunster was overthrown in 1336 by Rudolph Brun (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolf_Brun), which is what created the somewhat radical Zurich Republic and the establishment of the Zunftordnung (guild laws) and new craft-guild dominated (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z%C3%BCnfte_of_Z%C3%BCrich) constitution of that very important town. It's actually a pretty good example of the Swiss resisting any attempt to control let alone crack down on them by Church authorities. I also think it's inaccurate to characterize Swiss history vis a vis the Church or anything else as simply a reflection of Swiss vs. Hapsburgs. Maybe post medieval yes, but in the middle ages the Hapsburgs were only one of several major threats the Swiss faced (and faced down). On the flip side of the Swiss resisting the Church they did also welcome the Church and hosted numerous conferences and ecclesiastical synods in what was seen by many princes and prelates as neutral territory, for example at Basel. Though many of the Swiss were quick to adopt the Reformation and they retained their own quasi-pagan traditions ala Krampus etc., they were by no means non-religious.

G

KarlMarx
2018-07-19, 12:09 PM
What is the best siege weapon for destroying a medieval town.

As mentioned, fire is really the best way to destroy a town or a large stretch of one.

As for the most effective way to deliver that fire, I'd honestly advise using fire arrows instead of siege weaponry, unless range is an issue. It's a lot easier to figure out where one flaming projectile is going to land and thus where to prepare fire brigades than it is with 1000 smaller projectiles...at least some of which will go unnoticed. Once a fire has started, highly inflammible medieval construction should do the job for you.

If the concern is range, and for some reason you can't bring forward enough archers to close enough range, I'd say that quantity>size of projectile. Hence scorpiones and ballistae will come in more use than larger onagers and trebuchets. A polybolos--essentially a hand-cranked machine scorpio--could do a number if you were igniting fires by chemical means (i.e. two chemicals contained in two glass phials in the head which shatter, mix, and ignite upon contact with target), but the nature of most polyboloi is such that a traditional fire bolt would likely be more likely to damage the weapon than ignite the target.

If you're willing to relax the "siege engine" requirement, however, there is another...underhanded way to ignite even a large city quickly and chaotically using only medieval technology. It's an approach I know was used by Genghis Khan, but I've heard it used much earlier than him.

What you do is as follows:

1. Lay siege to the town. Make sure to project the illusion of overwhelming force by creating decoys, rapidly countermarching troops, etc. to convey the expression of overwhelming force, even if you don't have it.

2. Make an offer to parley with the town. Most medieval towns are too overpopulated to want to withstand a major siege, especially on short notice, as a massive influx of refugees from the countryside will strain supplies. Thus, the Eldermen/Councillors/etc. should come and negotiate quickly.

3. Make the following deal: "I will break the siege, provided that the town delivers me a ransom of [a large number of songbirds, pidgeons, etc.][the Khan asked for several hundred, other instances show a request for one to three birds per house, remembering that the birds roost in homes]" The town will likely agree, because as mentioned there are a lot of birds roosting in medieval buildings and its a lot easier to tell everyone in town to catch a couple of birds than to go without food for several months.

4. Wait until the delivery of your ransom. In the meantime, have your troops prepare small bundles of flammable material, light enough for a bird to carry and lasting for a fairly long time. IIRC the Khan used cotton.

5. When the birds are delivered, have the soldiers attach these bundles to said birds (1 bundle per bird). Release the flock. In panic, they will fly back to their nests in the city (pidgeons work especially well for this, as they have an excellent homing instinct).

6. Congratulations! You have delivered several hundred lit embers to ready-made piles of kindling (i.e. nests) in difficult-to-reach crannies. Nature will do the rest of the job for you. If you want, you can also try and take the walls by coup de main while the defenders fight fires.

gkathellar
2018-07-19, 04:05 PM
@KarlMarx: Okay that's at least as appalling as it is clever, but good heavens is that clever.

Mr Beer
2018-07-19, 05:55 PM
What is the best siege weapon for destroying a medieval town.

You need fire and it's not at all close.

If your goal is destruction, then the best way to set fire to the town is the way to go. That might be to gain entry to the town, get control of a quarter and then just set fire to a bunch of dwellings, taking note of the prevailing winds. In this case, the type of siege weapon is irrelevant except inasmuch as it's the best one to get you into the town.

Really there is no engine available during mediaeval times which was capable of physically destroying an entire town of any size without ancillary processes such as fire, catastrophic flooding or lengthy lack of occupation. At least in any reasonable time frame and numbers...I guess some of the giant Ottoman bombards or a just a few hundred cannon could level a small town given enough time.

Depending on your definition of 'destroying', it was difficult and time-consuming to achieve even in WWII with conventional weapons, without the aid of fire.

KarlMarx
2018-07-19, 06:00 PM
@KarlMarx: Okay that's at least as appalling as it is clever, but good heavens is that clever.

Note that I do not endorse the actions of Genghis Khan

Vinyadan
2018-07-19, 06:40 PM
Flooding sounds interesting, but it likely also has too massive effects to be used on a city. You probably would end up without a place to make your camp, and with disrupted supply lines.

Clistenes
2018-07-19, 07:08 PM
About the Midonai vs Asherite scenario... what kind of economy do he Midonai have?

The Spaniards had a lot of trouble seizing the Caribbean because the natives had just subsistence level agriculture, no trade, no money, no industry, no taxation... Cristobal Columbus first tried to found trading posts like the Portuguese had in Africa, in order to create a chain of self-sustaining outposts all the way to Catay, but the Taino and Caribe natives produced too little food surplus, produced none of the tools and resources the Europeans needed, kept no lines of trade across the islands, and didn't even understand what "money" and "taxes" meant, so they couldn't be made to sustain the colonies, to give them food or to work for them...

Even if the Spaniards tried to use force against the natives, they would just escape away, abandoning their lands...

Cristobal Columbus resorted to enslaving the natives and using them as a captive workforce (training them as was needed) or even selling them in Spain, but queen Isabella said "nope!" and forbade it.

Later, after Cristobal Columbus had been replaced as viceroy/governor, a large amount of gold was discovered in the rivers, and king Ferdinand, and later on, his grandson emperor Charles turned a blind eye to the enslaving of the natives, who were rounded, enslaved, and forced to grow crops and pan gold for the Spaniards. Fray Bartolome de las Casas and other people, mostly priests and monks, protested against the illegal slavery of the natives, but the Spanish colonists strongly resisted the weak attempts of the Crown to stop their abuses...

They found a very similar situation in he Philippine Islands: Lots of gold in the rivers, but the native society and economy was unsuited to exploit them; this time king Philip II strongly forbade the enslaving of the natives OR bringing African slaves (the Philippine Islands were sort of a pet project... a religion-based colony, focused toward the conversion of Asia to Catholicism...). And guess what? The gold in the rivers remained largely unexploited, the islands largely free of European colonists save the lands around Manila, which was mostly a Chinese-Spanish trade outpost... In short, the colonization of the archipielago wasn't a great success...

What I mean is: It is very difficult to colonize a people who lack an advanced economy with a food surplus, a a developed industry, trade lines, a merchant class, money, taxation and a administration of their own... You have to literally capture them keep them prisioners and train them... and if they are a warlike, fierce people who resist conquest, you may very well end exterminating them rather than assimilating them, like the Romans did to the Cantabrians, or the Spaniards did to the Tainos and Caribes.

So what are he Asherites going to do? Do he Midonai have kings or lords who can be persuaded to pay fealty and tribute? Do they have cities that can be conquered? Or, are the Asherites going to round all the Midonai they can seize, enslave them and send them to labor camps? Or, do the Asherites plan to just kill all the Midonai and colonize their lands with their own excess of population? Is it even practical to take a lot of people from their homes and send them to some remote island?

Galloglaich
2018-07-20, 01:21 AM
What is the best siege weapon for destroying a medieval town.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/80/Siege_orleans.jpg


Large Cannon. People tend to forget these were a major part of the medieval landscape.

Barring that, large trebuchet, and siege towers.

rrgg
2018-07-20, 02:03 AM
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/80/Siege_orleans.jpg


Large Cannon. People tend to forget these were a major part of the medieval landscape.

Barring that, large trebuchet, and siege towers.

Oh please, in what way is that a large cannon (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumhart_von_Steyr)? :smallwink:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/96/HGM_Pumhart_von_Steyr.jpg

Ah the age of medieval superguns. What a time that must have been. . .

Sam113097
2018-07-20, 04:21 AM
Oh please, in what way is that a large cannon (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumhart_von_Steyr)? :smallwink:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/96/HGM_Pumhart_von_Steyr.jpg

Ah the age of medieval superguns. What a time that must have been. . .

That looks like something out of STAR WARS!

Thanks for all of your input in the Asherite-Midonai scenario, it's been both constructive and interesting! If any of you would like to comment on other facets of the setting that this is a part of, the Solstone Islands (there is a link in my signature), I'd much appreciate more of such great input. To give a few more details about the two cultures:
[LIST]
The Asherites were stranded on a larger island by magical means, and they have been established there for about 100 years. Their war of conquest is motivated by both religious and economic factors. While the Midonai and Asherites were fairly friendly when the Asherites arrived, relations deteriorated rapidly as the Asherites tried to force the Midonai to accept their religion - sometimes violently. This escalated into a war that the Asherites are using to gain more territory as well.
The Asherites ended up on the islands by magical means, and have learned shipbuilding from the Midonai themselves (before hostilities began), so, while they stil use some triremes, their ships are similar to the Midonai.
The Asherites are a theocracy led by a highseer and elders from each settlement. The Midonai have a king aided by a council of cheiftains.
The Midonai do not live solely on this island. It is not their capital and is the closest to the large island where the Asherites live. The islands are tropical
I haven't put much thought into the exact numbers yet, but this archipelago isn't that big. It's largest city (which belongs to another nation) has maybe 10,000 people. The island being invaded is roughly 200 square miles.

Clistenes
2018-07-20, 05:47 AM
That looks like something out of STAR WARS!

Thanks for all of your input in the Asherite-Midonai scenario, it's been both constructive and interesting! If any of you would like to comment on other facets of the setting that this is a part of, the Solstone Islands (there is a link in my signature), I'd much appreciate more of such great input. To give a few more details about the two cultures:
[LIST]
The Asherites were stranded on a larger island by magical means, and they have been established there for about 100 years. Their war of conquest is motivated by both religious and economic factors. While the Midonai and Asherites were fairly friendly when the Asherites arrived, relations deteriorated rapidly as the Asherites tried to force the Midonai to accept their religion - sometimes violently. This escalated into a war that the Asherites are using to gain more territory as well.
The Asherites ended up on the islands by magical means, and have learned shipbuilding from the Midonai themselves (before hostilities began), so, while they stil use some triremes, their ships are similar to the Midonai.
The Asherites are a theocracy led by a highseer and elders from each settlement. The Midonai have a king aided by a council of cheiftains.
The Midonai do not live solely on this island. It is not their capital and is the closest to the large island where the Asherites live. The islands are tropical
I haven't put much thought into the exact numbers yet, but this archipelago isn't that big. It's largest city (which belongs to another nation) has maybe 10,000 people. The island being invaded is roughly 200 square miles.



If everybody lives in the same archipielago, it makes the Asherite conquest economically viable and militarily sustainable, but on the other hand, the Midonai can strike back raiding the Asherite villages, avoiding their military...

It sounds like it could become a genocidal total war quite easily, with each side razing the other's villages and taking away the villagers as slaves...

snowblizz
2018-07-20, 06:27 AM
@KarlMarx: Okay that's at least as appalling as it is clever, but good heavens is that clever.

So clever the Americans in WW2 were well on thier way to try and get bats to do the work of firebombing Japanese towns. I guess fortunately for the species they were planning on using it only got so far.

Brother Oni
2018-07-20, 06:48 AM
Oh please, in what way is that a large cannon (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumhart_von_Steyr)? :smallwink:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/96/HGM_Pumhart_von_Steyr.jpg

Ah the age of medieval superguns. What a time that must have been. . .

It's not the size of the gun, it's the size of the bang. :smalltongue:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2e/Uss_iowa_bb-61_pr.jpg

https://i.redd.it/r9aq9ddmirix.jpg

This is the Mark-23 (W23) Katie nuclear shell, designed to be fired out of an Iowa's 16" guns. It had a payload of 15kt, weighed 1900lbs (~864kg) and had a theoretical range of 25 miles.

They were fuzed for airburst with very little fallout, but the range of effect would be:

180 metre radius fireball - stuff is vaporised
700 metre radius of 20 psi overpressure (will destroy heavily built concrete buildings and kill everyone)
1350 metre radius of 500 rem radiation (50-90% exposed die from acute radiation poisoning)
1700 metre radius of 5 psi overpressure (most residential or commercial buildings are destroyed)
2000 metre radius of thermal pulse (everyone exposed gets a 3rd degree burn)


Here's one of her sisters in action (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5N0Balj2tLw&ab_channel=FalcoEnterprise).

snowblizz
2018-07-20, 07:03 AM
Paganism not being attacked

- I think this is partly true. The Church concentrated their aggression much more on Heresy which is not the same thing as paganism. Variations on "The Brand" of the Church were ruthlessly crushed, paganism was usually more indirectly treated. However that said, pagans had no rights, and until they had accepted Baptism it was legal and even lauded to rob, kidnap, or kill them. Sell them to the Turks or Mongols into slavery - this was practiced widely in Eastern Europe (with 'Schismatic' Orthodox Christians also lumped in with pagans) and later was transferred to Africans. Only the highly effective military resistance by such pagan polities as the Grand Duchy of Lithuania forced them to even consider a true "live and let live" policy which was floated as a legal idea by the Poles and later by the Czechs but rejected by the Church.

That's an as interesting as it is puzzling (to me) fact. Invariably the "sectarianism" was more important than the advancement of broadly the "correct" thing. Pagans and infidels could be tolerated but anything just a shade off from you had to be ruthlessly exterminated. In politics as well a religion (there's a fascinating example of the 1960s leftist movements in Sweden I can't regale you with here).

In the 1500s and then 1600s going into the 30YW Calvinists and Lutherans would rather ally with the Catholics than support each other against the far more powerful Counter-Reformation movement usually to their own detriment. More oftne thna not ofc it was all an excercise in doing what you really wanted despite what the laws and customs say, ie realpolitik.

That protestantism eradicated the "pagan" carnivale was more about Catholicism than pagansim really.

All boils down to the correct way you open a boiled egg I guess.


Regarding burning down a town. Was something I was thinking about, but in a later scenrio, that is the 1600s-1700s. If I didn't care for preserving a city being besieged could I set it alight with heated cannonballs?

I'm thinking about the situation e.g. at the Siege of Copenhagen in 1658-60 where had the Swedes just decided to utterly ruin Copenhagen instead of trying to capture it, Denmark would essentially have ceased to exist as a nation.
I hindsight, could one have done so? Or would a 17/18th century city survive it. Or rather is it feasible to do that with the technology the besiger has available. Assuming I have the reasonable resource at my disposal (and not jsut silly amounts of cannon, gunpowder and balls e.g.).

Brother Oni
2018-07-20, 08:07 AM
Regarding burning down a town. Was something I was thinking about, but in a later scenrio, that is the 1600s-1700s. If I didn't care for preserving a city being besieged could I set it alight with heated cannonballs?

Yup, you can: Heated shot (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heated_shot).

They were typically used in ship to ship combat (as anybody who's played an Age of Sail ship combat game will testify to), but there are reports where it was used against cities. Note that additional safety measures are required to prevent the premature detonation of the gunpowder charge by the red hot cannonball.

You could also theoretically use mortars (or cannon aimed at a high angle with reduced charge) to launch incendiary 'shells' into the town.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/09/Fire-ball_Veste-Coburg.jpg

Epimethee
2018-07-20, 09:30 AM
Medieval Marriages outside of the Church.

-this is definitely quite true. Most marriage were done with just a few witnesses, and they would sometimes pay a priest to write down the event after (sometimes long after) the marriage. Many marriages took place after a casual tryst during Carnival. In Bohemia they were often conducted by a witchy sort of 'Midwife' type character.

Even in England, self wedding was only invalidated by the Marriage act of 1753.

The layout of the medieval family is definitively more convoluted than what we think. The so-called traditional marriage is more a modern reconstruction than an historical fact (with counter-reformation then the society of positivism and its scientific take on morality influential in shaping that). Many families were recomposed in medieval time, albeit not for the same reasons as today of course. Mostly this hold true for any period you look at: private life is difficult to crack and often peoples are more diverse and strange that what ideological guidelines make you think. As a related reading, I suggest you to look at this (https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jan/23/-sp-secret-history-same-sex-marriage).
As a newspaper article, it is only a light introduction and touch quickly on medieval time but it is still interesting to challenge some representations. (Also to take with a grain of salt and cross-check with more academical sources please!)



Paganism not being attacked

- I think this is partly true. The Church concentrated their aggression much more on Heresy which is not the same thing as paganism. Variations on "The Brand" of the Church were ruthlessly crushed, paganism was usually more indirectly treated. However that said, pagans had no rights, and until they had accepted Baptism it was legal and even lauded to rob, kidnap, or kill them. Sell them to the Turks or Mongols into slavery - this was practiced widely in Eastern Europe (with 'Schismatic' Orthodox Christians also lumped in with pagans) and later was transferred to Africans. Only the highly effective military resistance by such pagan polities as the Grand Duchy of Lithuania forced them to even consider a true "live and let live" policy which was floated as a legal idea by the Poles and later by the Czechs but rejected by the Church.

Here I think we have to be careful about the chronology. Heresies were mainly a late medieval problem. Before that the brand of the church was less well established. For example, in Wales, the Celtic christianity (I use the term as a simplification here) was more or less able to keep its customs till the XII century.
I think some context on heresies is important, as their definitions are evolving.
(For such questions, I often use as a starting point the excellent "Dictionnaire du Moyen Age", a synthesis directed by Claude Gauvard, Alain de Libera, and Michel Zink published by the Presse Universitaire de France. That's really a useful tool. As I own the first edition (2002), some of my informations may have been corrected since then.)

So heresies are important in the first centuries of the church, with a heavy tradition informed by the like of Justin or Augustin and transmitted by the like of Isidore of Seville. The heresiologic treaty is very typed: you start by exposing and then refuting the doctrine, named most often after the one who professed it first. The refutation is more and more typified and the portraits of the heretics are more and more stereotyped, their words are more blasphemy, their actions are more depraved. Here the aim is mainly doctrinal, refuting false interpretations and shaping the dogma of the church.

But five century separate those treaty from the first mention of heresies in medieval Europe, around the XI century. The church was still dependent of the
antic models, but start talking about heresy in general, qualified in the XII century of lese-majesté according to the roman law. This is a new interpretation that was never used in Roman time and point to the specific of a medieval culture that reshape his cultural tools.
Also by this point the church created the Inquisition. To quote my dictionary: "The main issue of the history of the church was no more building the doctrine but the direction of the faithful in a politically divided world in which the notion of christianity was bringing an unity principle, materialized by an institution more an more hierarchized and complex."

The council of Latran put every heresies in the same bag: "We condemn every heretic, whichever name he use, showing different faces but linked together by the tail as they are assembled by Vanity."
Till the XIII century, this make talking about heresies difficult and contested. It will change with the apparition of heresies born inside the church, in Universities close to the secular world, a secular world where the written culture was more and more prevalent. Huss and Wyclif are scholars and their influence spread across universities.

Those were the main target of the inquisition (before Alexander IV of course). But the Church was not able to refute them properly. In fact, with the Great Schism of Occident, the attack of Agnani against Boniface VII, the papacy in Avignon and the councils of Basel and Constance, the church was losing its legitimacy.

Alexander IV, by introducing the maleficium in the targets of inquisitions, was responsible for the reintroduction of the paganism in this landscape, or more accurately for the changing status of the Merveilleux. Quite interestingly, from the XVII-XVIII century, promoting the concept of superstition to purify the notion of faith in the age of a new take on rationality, the church was again central to reshaping the concepts it was instrumental to create.

Here, the problem with Baltic states is that we have to draw another process in the discussion, the missions and the conversion of the fringes of Europe. You have almost a millennium between the conversion of France, Italy or Switzerland and the conversion of Baltic states.
The problem is that, here again, we have different situations with the conversion of, say, Poland or Scandinavia compared to the situation of Lithuania. I agree that this fail out of reach of my argument but I don't think it is contradictory.


States are becoming more centralized


-only some States. France is, Spain is, England is. HRE isn't. Bohemia isn't. Italy certainly isn't. Flanders isn't (or, the man who tries it dies in the attempt). Poland isn't.

Absolutely. And France or England are mostly engaged in a long process of centralization. Italy isn't politically but at the same time the first steps of the future Renaissance are starting to shape some Italian cultural staple, Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarch are the most evident example. For the HRE, I think it is complex as the Habsburg would soon control an immense empire. You have also the failed tentative of Burgundy.
The mere fact that somebody would try to unify Flander point to the same phenomenon. I'm less familiar with Poland so I won't try to make a strong point based on few sentences in any Osprey. But take the case of Bohemia were the Hussite heresies meet the first steps of Chech pre-nationalism.

Again, it is a long, uneven and convoluted process, but the forces that would lead to the formation of Occident are growing stronger.


Prelates were becoming less violent.

-Definitely NOT TRUE. I can't point out a dozen warlike and extremely violent, you might say ultraviolent prelates active in the 15th Century.

As I quoted prelates from the XI (Odo of Bayeux), XVI (Matthieu Schiner) and XVII century (Richelieu), I can only agree. Mentalities and comportment are nevertheless different things. I would point to you the differences between the prelates in the Chanson de Roland and in the books of Chretien de Troyes. They are separated by a little century but their description, action and status are totally different.


Church Art vs. Greco Roman art

-I think the former clearly converged toward the latter at an accelerating rate in the 14th and 15th Centuries. If you walk through modern Cathedrals and large Churches in places like Florence or Venice, or even the Vatican they are almost more temples to Art (with a strong Classical influence) than to Jesus or God. It's all naked people and Greek mythology.

Yes, but that's why we should be careful with chronology. Ravenna is not Rimini. That's a shortcut but the beginning of christian art, from the miniatures in the books to the gothic architecture, are clearly a departure from antiquities. Latter, of course, it would come back (and the connection was never totally lost).
Interestingly, in the Tempio Malatestino in Rimini, one of the first church to be build on greco-roman inspiration in the XIV century IIRC, the lord of the place, Sigismondo Malatesta, is celebrated inside the sanctuary. This kind of celebration is quite new and another clue to follow to the changing mentalities of late medieval age, announcing in a way the humanities.


Influence of Heraldry
- as I alreeday said, I think this is seriously overstated. French heraldry in particular had a lot of influence with the princely Estates, but that was hardly universal the princely Estates

So what? The fact that it could be diffused is the clue, no custom is ever universally adopted.


Carnival

- Carnival was out of control of the Church and in fact, increasingly so in the later medieval period. including the rapidly developing Carnival Theater and art genres. it is among other things specifically where highly subversive "counter-memes" ridiculing official and princely ideas over things like heraldry were on (often extremely rude) display. Anything goes at Carnival, including and especially politically incorrect and images offensive to those in power. it's something hard to understand unless you live somewhere where they actually have carnival. This is why the Church and secular princes ended up stamping it out in many places during the Reformation and Counter-Reformation (Carnival ended in many towns in Europe in the 16th Century). Only where the local political hierarchy was needed to maintain order were they unable to end it (usually in Catholic towns).


Ok, we are here for the long haul. (Here I will mainly use as a guideline the exhaustive and excellent resume of the anthropologist Suzanne Chappaz-Wirthner in his study of a local Carnaval in the Swiss alps.)
They are a lot of interrogations and thesis around Carnaval. Mostly, two theories are explored: some think it is a survivacy of pagan time, the others that it is essentially christian. Both sides use the same arguments, etymology and the place of the feast in the liturgical calendar, but in the way they need to prove their point.

For example, the partisans of the pagan hypothesis, based on the work of Friedrich Diez and popularized among other in XIX century by Jakob Burkhard, think the word come from "currus navalis", from the name of the Isis boat who was wandering in Rome around the 5 mars in imperial time to mark the start of navigation in high sea. The same kind of ship on wheels was used by weavers guilds in the medieval period. So those authors play this resemblance. Also Fasnacht (without the central t, as written by Wolfram von Eschenbach) is taken to come from faseln, unchecked, uncontrolled, or from Faseln, the penis.

On the other side, the proponent of the christian hypothesis use the most ancient version of the word Carnaval. In 965, the abbey Georgius sign an act in Subacio, Latium, where he agree to give some terrain against tithes to be paid "unum in Nativitatem Domini, album in Carnelevare, tertium in Sanctum Pascha". This is equivalent to the latin carnelevamen and carnisprivium, both used by monks to design the day before a period of privation.
You can find the same connotation around Fastnacht, but that a fairly boring linguistically argument. And sadly no penis is involved.

The best way to describe the consensus today would be to describe Carnaval a bit like this: The reinforcement of Lent from the VII century onward and the obligation made to the christians by the pope Urban VII in 1091 to take part in the ritual of the Ash Wednesday contributed to fix in a specific place of the calendar more ancient customs, like masks and corteges. But, in the enterprise of christianization supported by the church, they gained new meanings that exclude a direct filiation with the pagans festivities.

With that in mind we can start discussing the main interpretations of the celebration, from the medieval and early modern interpretations. Interestingly, the attitude around Carnaval was nuanced even then: a dialogue published in Mayence in 1495 by Gresemund the Young oppose Caton and Polidarius. One think Carnaval should be banned, for the other it is important for the well-being of the people. Interestingly, most theologians fall along those line, and we can find again the great divide that I illustrated with Suger and Bernard of Clairvaux.
But for all those theologians, Carnaval can only come from outside the Church. And the XIX century would soon enough give a scientific polish to this hypothesis.

I won't go to deep in the way the XIX century, looking for "authentic" traditions, and with nationalism rising, was looking everywhere for what they described as survivancy of ancient time. Today, scholars like Claude Gaignebet are still proposing the same conception, a kind of rural magic associated to an archaic mentality and linked with the afterlife, the remains of a prehistoric religion.

At the same time, you have scholar like Hans Moser who point out that Carnaval took mostly place around monasteries in urban Germany around the XIII-XIV century. In Bavaria for example, the peasant gave a pullus carniprivalis, or vastnachtshuhn (a chicken of Carnaval) to the bishop who give them back his protection and a biscuit, the vaschnachtskrapfen, then you have processions, in the form of a "menacing collection". Then everybody would take part in a meal that the monk had prepared, accompanied by song and dances.
Then the clerks would take part in special celebrations.
This was often accompanied by disorder and even violence but only in the counter-reformation would the church crack down on monks participating in such festivities. In this sense I could contest your point about counter reformation as the Catholic Church banned Carnaval for the monks but was less conflictual on the secular celebrations,
For Moser, Carnaval is mostly a secular festivity born in the cities and used at the same time by the patricians to assert their power and by the artisans to contest it. As such, it was also used by the church.

But another Moser, Dietz-Rudiger, contest that point because Hans was only using secular sources and, in studying theological sources, like the sermon of the last Sunday of Carnaval, he was able to point out the way it was integrated to the liturgical cycle by the missionary spirit of the church, roughly as Carnaval and Lent were replaying symbolically in the calendar cycle the divide between the earthly and the heavenly cities of Jerusalem.

That's not even talking about the interpretations of Bathkine, as a subversive celebration, or the theatralization of the discourse on madness proposed by Natalie Zemon Davis, Muriel Laharie and Jean Marie Fritz... So really take your pick...

Also I live in a place were Carnaval is not only celebrated but also important in the political landscape. So yeah, I understand also how this kind of sociability shape the actual power structure.



Interdict "rarely used after the XIII century"

- STRONGLY disagree!!!!!!!!!! I'm astounded that anyone could say that. Most of Central Europe was under interdict at one time or another thoughout the 15th Century. If you want me to start citing examples I will list them.

I can also do that almost till today, as the notion disappeared from canonical law in 1983 only. But I stand by my point: in the XI century, it was unusual, as noted by Yves de Chartres ("an unusual cure"). The XII century saw a huge use of it, sometime for more than ten years. By the XIII and XIV century, the pope were starting to regulate its use. "By the end of medieval time, reconsidered by the abuses, devaluated by a more interiorized spirituality and disarmed by the reinforcing of secular structures of obedience, the interdict would loose in practical efficacy what it would gain in juridical definition." As such it was less used, and more as a symbolical than a political weapon.


Church and the Swiss

- yes there were still Church entities Keep in mind the Abess of the Fraumunster was overthrown in 1336 by Rudolph Brun (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolf_Brun), which is what created the somewhat radical Zurich Republic and the establishment of the Zunftordnung (guild laws) and new craft-guild dominated (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z%C3%BCnfte_of_Z%C3%BCrich) constitution of that very important town. It's actually a pretty good example of the Swiss resisting any attempt to control let alone crack down on them by Church authorities. I also think it's inaccurate to characterize Swiss history vis a vis the Church or anything else as simply a reflection of Swiss vs. Hapsburgs. Maybe post medieval yes, but in the middle ages the Hapsburgs were only one of several major threats the Swiss faced (and faced down). On the flip side of the Swiss resisting the Church they did also welcome the Church and hosted numerous conferences and ecclesiastical synods in what was seen by many princes and prelates as neutral territory, for example at Basel. Though many of the Swiss were quick to adopt the Reformation and they retained their own quasi-pagan traditions ala Krampus etc., they were by no means non-religious.

G


Interestingly, texts like the Covenant of Sempach list churches and monasteries as places not to destroy.
I agree with you on Zurich but would like to remind you that the dioceses like Sion, and Basel where allies or subject of the Swiss Confederation for all the medieval period. Basel joined in 1501. Lausanne, dominated by Savoie until 1536, was then a possession of Bern and only joined the Swiss in 1803. Sion, allied with the confederation till the XIV century, joined in 1815.

I may have been a bit rough with the characterization of the early Swiss confederation but for the III and the VIII primitives cantons, the Habsbourg were really a huge problem, the so called Marschenstrait featured them prominently (the occasion for me to point you an amazing resource for Swiss history if you speak either German, French or Italian, the Historiches Lexicon Der Schweiz (http://www.hls-dhs-dss.ch/textes/f/F25760.php)). The monasteries and abbey were mostly central to that huge fight, like Schwytz and Einsiedeln, or Uri and Engelberg. The Habsburg were often the main opponent in this process. And they more often than not had rights on the monasteries.
Sempach and Morgarten are the most famous episodes in this ongoing fight.

Also here again chronology is important. As shown by the right of the fraumunster, the monasteries of St Gall, St Maurice, Einsiedeln, St Ursanne and so on, the church was instrumental in shaping the new municipalities of the actual Switzerland in medieval time, mostly in the great foundation of the VIII century. By the XIV century, and Rudolph Brun, we find the new secular way of controlling the society, maybe growing stronger or sooner in the specific of the rising Swiss Confederation.

The traditions ala Krampus are strongly balanced by the many legends of saints and holy figures present in the landscape of the alps since medieval time, like the mount Pilates or the famous slaughter of the Theban legion.

The first dated christian inscription in Switzerland can be found in Sion, in the higher part of the Rhone valley, between two range of 4000 meter high mountains. It is dated from 377, the time of his first bishop Theodule, in 381, and many churches are attested from this point on, like in Geneva or in Zurzach. In Graubunden, the part of Switzerland who speak retho-rumansch and where Davos is situated, the diocese of Chur is attested from the middle of the fifth century. This would be delayed in the oriental part of Switzerland, less romanized and where the Allamans would install themselves. There, the input of Irish monks like Gall would be essential in converting the peoples in the VII century. Most scholar agree that, by the VIII century, the territory of modern Switzerland is christianized (http://www.hls-dhs-dss.ch/textes/f/F11507.php).

Brother Oni
2018-07-20, 10:18 AM
While I'm finding this a fascinating read, I feel that I should remind people of the board rules (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/announcement.php?a=1) (specifically the religion and politics clauses) before a mod comes and nukes the thread like Mk-23 Katie shell.

Epimethee
2018-07-20, 12:07 PM
That's of course alium and not album in the quote above. Sorry, autocorrect...

@Brother Oni: i was fearing for quite some time somebody would say precisely that...

on the Solstones Island: I agree with most of what Clistenes said. By this point you almost have to consider the Asherites as a colony cut off from the metropolis and one very important consideration would be the relative size of each group. If the Midonai are far more numerous, they could be able to put a stop to the asherite settlement as long as they are more or less unified.

Also I'm sure the asherite would come with some new designs for their ships inspired by their old technics. And cue the young midonai who try to stop the fabrication of the new asherite super-weapon...

Mike_G
2018-07-20, 12:46 PM
Regarding burning down a town. Was something I was thinking about, but in a later scenrio, that is the 1600s-1700s. If I didn't care for preserving a city being besieged could I set it alight with heated cannonballs?

I'm thinking about the situation e.g. at the Siege of Copenhagen in 1658-60 where had the Swedes just decided to utterly ruin Copenhagen instead of trying to capture it, Denmark would essentially have ceased to exist as a nation.
I hindsight, could one have done so? Or would a 17/18th century city survive it. Or rather is it feasible to do that with the technology the besiger has available. Assuming I have the reasonable resource at my disposal (and not jsut silly amounts of cannon, gunpowder and balls e.g.).

The British set fire to Charlestown with naval shot during the battle of Bunker Hill because they were taking sniper fire from the town. If you don't care about capturing a city, setting fire to it should be fairly easy to do and pretty hard for the defenders to fight.

Vinyadan
2018-07-20, 05:37 PM
I think Napoleon destroyed Borodino. There should be a description in War and Peace. Iirc, he bombed the city with his cannons, causing fires that burned it to the ground.

snowblizz
2018-07-21, 06:41 AM
Yup, you can: Heated shot (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heated_shot).

They were typically used in ship to ship combat (as anybody who's played an Age of Sail ship combat game will testify to), but there are reports where it was used against cities. Note that additional safety measures are required to prevent the premature detonation of the gunpowder charge by the red hot cannonball.


Heated shot was exactly what I was thinking of. Used to great effect in the Siege of Gibraltar to set fire to the French/Spanish floating batteries. I was thinking burying a shot in wood wher eit casues hard to put out smouldering fire deep in the wood might be slightly different to a large city.

No doubt a large city can easily burn in the period, London 1666 proves that. I was perhaps mainly curious how much effort has to go into it. And whether it can be done without actually being on the ground doing it.


I think Napoleon destroyed Borodino. There should be a description in War and Peace. Iirc, he bombed the city with his cannons, causing fires that burned it to the ground.
Borodino was a field battle, and if it destroyed the nearby village it would have been incidental. Also, more likely the Russians torched it as they retreated as they did everything in the path of the French.


The British set fire to Charlestown with naval shot during the battle of Bunker Hill because they were taking sniper fire from the town. If you don't care about capturing a city, setting fire to it should be fairly easy to do and pretty hard for the defenders to fight.
Ah! There we go.

It seems at Copenhagen 1807 the naval bombardment also set fire to Copenhagen (the British are always quick to steal good Swedish ideas it seems) though it mentions 300 Congrave rockets, and am unsure that's technology available 100-200 years prior (my era of interest).

Most cases where cities burn down in sieges tend to be accidental or purposeful after (un)successful stormings or takings. The ability to loot a city you besiege being for most of history the main point it seems.

Rule 1: Pillage, *then* burn.

Brother Oni
2018-07-21, 07:46 AM
I was perhaps mainly curious how much effort has to go into it. And whether it can be done without actually being on the ground doing it.

Further to Mike_G's comments, Negro Fort was destroyed when heated shot from the besiegers hit the fort's powder magazine and detonated it.


It seems at Copenhagen 1807 the naval bombardment also set fire to Copenhagen (the British are always quick to steal good Swedish ideas it seems) though it mentions 300 Congrave rockets, and am unsure that's technology available 100-200 years prior (my era of interest).

The British are always quick to steal anything (antiquities, land, vocabulary), not just good ideas. Nationality is irrelevant. :smallbiggrin:

You'll need to be more specific in what you mean by 'rocket'. Gunpowder propelled incendiary devices date back to at least the 14th Century (the Huolongjing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huolongjing) records such weapons from the early Ming Dynasty), and explosive shell bombards have been recorded as early as the Song Dynasty (10th-13th Century).

Non-Chinese rocket propelled artillery have been used from the 16th Century (the Korean hwacha (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hwacha) during the Imjin War) and I've found mention of Duke John the Fearless of Burgundy using 300 incendiary rockets in the siege of Liège in 1408. I'm sure Galloglaich and others can expand more on Medieval European rocketry.

Metal cased rockets are late 18th Century and the British Congreve rockets were developed a mere 30 years after the Indians used them (Mysorean rockets (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mysorean_rockets)) successfully against the British in the Anglo-Mysore wars (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Mysore_Wars) (more stuff we stole!).

Epimethee
2018-07-21, 09:35 AM
About Borodino, or the Battle of of the Moskova.
As much as it was a huge artillery battle for the time, the battle of Borodino played mostly outside of this little town. Most of the bombs would drop on the redoubts and «*flèches*» outside of the city. The destroyed village could be Semenovskaya, but it was ravaged by the Russians.
The fight around Smolensk, in the days leading to the battle, may be a good point to look at the effect of XIX century bombardment on a town and on its suburbs, as more than 150 guns were used by Napoleon in an actual assault. I have only secondary and fragmentary sources on this action but it seem to have been less than efficient.

On the destruction of towns: I think for most of the history, pillaging a town would be a collateral damage, the most important point would be to take it and, if possible, keep it. Only in the most extreme cases, Genghis Khan to make an example, Rome against Carthage, was the destruction intended as the main point of the fight, and, as much as understood in the laws of war, pillaging was merely a related incident that would become less and less used after the military revolution.
Yes, they were raiders, and some town were regularly destroyed, and in antiquity you would often destroy or take the gods of the losers, but the town were the best way to gain and keep terrain.
So a lot of wars were actually played around sieges, more than field battles. From the medieval period to roughly the XIX century, it would be the main background of European warfare.

Also Carthage is an interesting example, as I wonder why fire was not an efficient weapon against the city.


@Sam113097: I was still thinking about your setting. I think the new facts you gave us change a lot of thing, mostly the strategical situation of the Asherites. I was really thinking about them like a metropolis, with more resources and arguably more peoples (at least more people to mobilize at one time).
If I try to look at the new situation from an asherite point of view, I’m in a very weak position, without any real mainland where I can fall back. I wonder also, with an agricultural civilisation, how demography will put a stress on my land. I assume an agriculture were surplus can support a city so my population is growing faster than my neighbourgs. In a way it is a great thing for my armies but it may still be a problem regarding my amount of land.

In any case, my island is my only resource and I am surrounded by alien cultures, as I haven’t got the time to read your setting, I assume here mainly of midonai.

So as much as I envisioned the midonai as the besieged society, I think now that the asherite would feel even more encircled. I think you could build a situation were the asherites in this spirit are convinced from the beginning that a war is coming and are preparing for it.

So I will try to make a thought experiment based on a kind of ideal Asherite play, a great masterplan assuming this point of view and a kind of Machiavellian vision crossed with the perceived urgency of the situation. Most of this is just reframing a little bit your narrative, both interpretations can exist at the same time but mine is like envisioned by a kind of outside video game player more than an actual resident.

I will start after the necessary explorations. My first aim is certainly to secure my main island. It implies of course the agricultural and urbanistic works, but it also mean that I want as soon as possible to master the coasts and the waters around it.
I’m not sure I can risk an aggressive move, as I feel weak and uncertain. My navy is unprepared and my resources are low. So diplomacy is almost my only option. Fortunately, the midonai seem friendly at first. I know it won’t last, so I try to use them with most of my abilities. By this point they are mostly diplomatic. I will certainly use a lot of gift in this situation but that’s a price I’m happy to pay as long as it consist of manufactured goods (but no weapon if possible).
I learn their shipbuilding technics (in the aim of connecting better with them or so I said) as soon as possible, and certainly as much else as I can. As soon as I can take the sea, I will send presents to the chieftains and the king. That the first real step of my masterplan. I need to have a foot in the politics of the island as soon as possible . My gift does not need to be expansive, I mostly need a regular link. Also, by giving them goods In little quantities at first I hope to gain some leverage down the line: after they have seen the chieftain using a metallic caldron, it would become more easily a desired object even in a non-monetary society, were gifts would also certainly have an important meaning. Giving ten of them would be a huge deal after that and would certainly give me some leverage.

First, it will help me control my own island. One option is to use different settlement or families for contacting each chieftain. So I could segment my relationship and draw each different tribe of midonai to different part of my island. Another one would be to open one town to everybody, more or less evidently as I can concentrate the markets, or open a great house of meeting according to the sensibilities of the midonai, to draw them and keep them in one place.
The second option may make easier the founding of my first, and for a long time only commercial or diplomatic outpost, the next step in my plan. The point you have chosen, as the closest island, is nice. I want the ineluctable war to start here. As we are in an archipelago, distance is less a problem: most island in Hawaii can be joined in a few days. But the closest point is still the best way to go. I need to stay relatively close to my basis and I can’t hope to fight in more than one place for the time being.
I assume a conflict will start on some specific situation, a priest attacked, some dispute about land, or commercial input, or even about marriage.

By this point, I had build a powerful navy and a huge stock of weapons. I would also fortify my positions but quietly as I don’t want to draw too much attention on my bellicose intentions.

But here, my diplomatic moves are starting to pay. As soon as hostilities start, I will send embassy to all chieftains not directly concerned and to the king. Here the specific situation is important, I could even engineer a favorable crisis if nothing come by itself as I need a kind of legal case, a situation were some midonai could see me as the prejudiced side. My point is to divide, to argue that I have a right to fight and that the local chieftain I’m currently fighting with is the one and only responsible of the situation. I’m sure he has foes so it will be easier to play that card. I need to block any concerted effort by the whole of the midonai.

Here we must understand that the option of total war would certainly be too much for me. So I have to be careful with my objective as an attritional war would certainly be too hard for my peoples to fight. Reasonably, I would aim for more rights on the grassy part of the island. With the tactical situation blocked, I aim for low intensity conflicts on a regular basis. My population by this point is my main weapon: by increasing the settlement on the second island, I make the total number grow regularly. But my needs are growing accordingly so the probability of new frictions would increase.
Then rinse and repeat: frictions, bursts of violence, intense diplomatic activity, slow increase of my possessions…

Accordingly, I increase my diplomatic play. As I’m certainly by now a point of contention for the midonai themselves (some would be friendly and some would be hostiles), I try to increase the division around supporting me. If possible, I will take part in some of the midonai conflict, in the hope of dividing them even further.

That’s only after I have enough land to secure the survival of my peoples that I can start a more direct course of action. You totally could be around this point after a century of Asherite presence.

You will notice that I willingly failed to include the effects of religion in this scheme. It may draw me sooner in a kind of total war. I think the asherite would loose something like that if they play their hand too soon.

The options of the midonai are different and a great deal is contingent to the unity of their tribes, but that’s a story for another time.

The Jack
2018-07-21, 01:20 PM
Science question.

I've been wondering about laser weapons. I understand infantry weaponry isn't considered viable because of the power supply issue, but I have wondered if that's because truly it's impossible to get the power from an easy man-portable source, or if it's because a man portable source would have greatly inferior ammo capacity to a rifle/LMG belt.



I want hard science as a basis for the weapon (with a little magic to maybe smooth the power issue over if neccessary.) My partner, a physicist that isn't really into lasers, suggested pulses would be preferable in weapons to constant beams. Regardless, lasers might have advantages in my setting over a particular enemy in particular environments.

Does anyone know how big the battery would need to be to get a shot off with firearm levels of damage? (or how many shots a battery of X size could get off.

Kader
2018-07-21, 01:20 PM
On the destruction of towns: I think for most of the history, pillaging a town would be a collateral damage, the most important point would be to take it and, if possible, keep it. Only in the most extreme cases, Genghis Khan to make an example, Rome against Carthage, was the destruction intended as the main point of the fight, and, as much as understood in the laws of war, pillaging was merely a related incident...

Eh, if we're considering Romans (even against foes other than Carthage, and I'm not sure Carthage is that exceptional other than for the size of the city and consequently the scale of the sack), I wouldn't describe pillaging as collateral damage. That gives the impression of some sort of regrettable but unavoidable breakdown in discipline. But my impression from readings is of Roman pillaging as a disciplined, methodical, and deliberate process in which it's hard to detect loss of control by the army leadership.


Also Carthage is an interesting example, as I wonder why fire was not an efficient weapon against the city.

By way of breaking in by using fire against the walls, trying to burn the whole city down from outside and shortcut the siege, etc.?

Ancient cities under siege certainly had to worry about fire, but they also had tools against it. Aeneas the Tactician wrote about fires in the city when under siege, and while he lays out some methods and countermethods of using fires matter-of-factly rather than forcefully, his most forceful warning relating to fires in a city under siege is not to overreact, lest by too many people rushing to put out the fire, you fall for a diversion and fail to guard against the enemy's real plan.

Epimethee
2018-07-21, 01:48 PM
@Kader: Carthage was exceptional because Rome wanted is total destruction. If I remember correctly, salt was even versed on the remain of the city as a act of annihilation.
Compare it for example to Veies, were the city was sacked and the gods taken to Rome but the city was still standing and even used as a refuge for the romans fleeing Brennus.

But you are right to clarify my point. They are variations in the understanding of pillaging but it was more or less integrated in the customs of war. As an organized process for the romans, a tool of terror for the khan or a way of subsidizing mercenaries in some medieval period.
In this sense you could describe it as a regrettable but unavoidable companion of wars, the main aim of a siege was to take the city and that's what I mostly intended to say.

Also, if you remember the hypothetical death of Archimedes, you could argue about the discipline of the roman army in a sack.


about Carthage and fire, if I remember correctly, fire was only sed in the last phase of the fight, as the roman army progressed inside the city. Fire was used to broke is last resistance. Also the first fire was in the commercial harbor and started as a defensive counter measure by the carthaginians.

I was wondering why Rome waited so long to use it as they wanted to destroy the city. And then I looked for some answers and an guy called Yann le Bohellec suggest that the Carthaginian power would radicalize itself in the late stage of the war, torturing roman prisoners and making the romans more and more violent in their response.

Kader
2018-07-21, 03:33 PM
@Kader: Carthage was exceptional because Rome wanted is total destruction. If I remember correctly, salt was even versed on the remain of the city as a act of annihilation.

The salt bit is well known but not found in the primary sources. The Romans did sack the city and burn it to the ground, but they resettled it before too long.

Without saying that such harsh treatment of captured cities was an ironclad rule, I wouldn't say it was so rare as to be an exception either. The Romans did pretty much the same thing to Corinth the same year that they razed Carthage, for example, and not out of any particularly bitter enmity that we can discern.



about Carthage and fire, if I remember correctly, fire was only sed in the last phase of the fight, as the roman army progressed inside the city. Fire was used to broke is last resistance. Also the first fire was in the commercial harbor and started as a defensive counter measure by the carthaginians.

I was wondering why Rome waited so long to use it as they wanted to destroy the city. And then I looked for some answers and an guy called Yann le Bohellec suggest that the Carthaginian power would radicalize itself in the late stage of the war, torturing roman prisoners and making the romans more and more violent in their response.

I think probably just because it was pretty hard to do it earlier, with the besiegers outside the walls and the population ready to fight fires, rather than because they chose not to burn the city earlier.

Kind of a simple take, but I think the simple answer might be the right one in this case.

snowblizz
2018-07-21, 03:45 PM
@Kader: Carthage was exceptional because Rome wanted is total destruction. If I remember correctly, salt was even versed on the remain of the city as a act of annihilation.
The salt as I understand has no basis in fact and is a literary devices or some such introduced later. Swedish historian **** Harrison mentions the supposed destruction of Carthage in his blog https://www.svd.se/ren-bluff-att-romarna-vill-utplana-karthago, and also notes there's no contemoporary sources of an delioberate desctrution. The detail description of it apparently stems fomr the 19th century in aprt with biblical stories as inspiration.


But you are right to clarify my point. They are variations in the understanding of pillaging but it was more or less integrated in the customs of war. As an organized process for the romans, a tool of terror for the khan or a way of subsidizing mercenaries in some medieval period.
In this sense you could describe it as a regrettable but unavoidable companion of wars, the main aim of a siege was to take the city and that's what I mostly intended to say.

Also, if you remember the hypothetical death of Archimedes, you could argue about the discipline of the roman army in a sack.
Almost invaraibly a city taken would be sacked unless it surrendered and paid a ransom and depending on discipline things might go wrong anyway. The Swedes in the 1600s had very strict laws of war forbidding unauthorized looting. Emphasis on the "un" as Prague can attest to during the siege that was ongoing as news of the peace arrived.

Almost universally until specifically forbiddne in mdoern times it was understood the price of not surrendering was looting.

And even the Roman army didn't have absolute discipline, and would always include more irregular units that might not be as firmly bound by discipline.


I was wondering why Rome waited so long to use it as they wanted to destroy the city. And then I looked for some answers and an guy called Yann le Bohellec suggest that the Carthaginian power would radicalize itself in the late stage of the war, torturing roman prisoners and making the romans more and more violent in their response.
Again according to the blog the Romans weren't interested in razing the city as much as breaking the power of Carthage. The Romans evnetually supported and rebuilt a city about where Carthage had been, one of the most important grainproducing regions for Rome.



Without saying that such harsh treatment of captured cities was an ironclad rule, I wouldn't say it was so rare as to be an exception either. The Romans did pretty much the same thing to Corinth the same year that they razed Carthage, for example, and not out of any particularly bitter enmity that we can discern.
Oh I have to mention the Roman Evocatio: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_ancient_Roman_religion#evocatio Where the Roman ritually claim the enemies god(s) as their own. The Romans were hardcore when it come to these things.

As you say sacking cities were pretty much the normal thing you did right up to modern times.

Gnoman
2018-07-21, 03:47 PM
Science question.

I've been wondering about laser weapons. I understand infantry weaponry isn't considered viable because of the power supply issue, but I have wondered if that's because truly it's impossible to get the power from an easy man-portable source, or if it's because a man portable source would have greatly inferior ammo capacity to a rifle/LMG belt.



I want hard science as a basis for the weapon (with a little magic to maybe smooth the power issue over if neccessary.) My partner, a physicist that isn't really into lasers, suggested pulses would be preferable in weapons to constant beams. Regardless, lasers might have advantages in my setting over a particular enemy in particular environments.

Does anyone know how big the battery would need to be to get a shot off with firearm levels of damage? (or how many shots a battery of X size could get off.


A 5.56x45mm round carries around ~1800 joules of energy. Running that through some calculators, you'd need around a 2000 watt laser to deliver that much energy. Commercial 2kw lasers draw as much as 16 kw during cutting operations. The smallest battery I can find with that level of storage is roughly the size of a refrigerator.

Epimethee
2018-07-21, 04:40 PM
The salt as I understand has no basis in fact and is a literary devices or some such introduced later. Swedish historian **** Harrison mentions the supposed destruction of Carthage in his blog https://www.svd.se/ren-bluff-att-romarna-vill-utplana-karthago, and also notes there's no contemoporary sources of an delioberate desctrution. The detail description of it apparently stems fomr the 19th century in aprt with biblical stories as inspiration.

Quite right, I need to be more accurate with every one of my interventions. As I was reading a few things by the side of this discussion, I can add that the detailed description of the salt of the city was invented by the byzantine historian Sozomen in the Vth century and Boniface VII in the XIII. The ritual of the plough seem to have a true historical existence but its use is not attested.
The dedication to infernal gods, like Dis Pater, Veiouis, Tellus and to Jupiter are attested.
I was certainly to much influenced by the literary stuffs.




Almost invaraibly a city taken would be sacked unless it surrendered and paid a ransom and depending on discipline things might go wrong anyway. The Swedes in the 1600s had very strict laws of war forbidding unauthorized looting. Emphasis on the "un" as Prague can attest to during the siege that was ongoing as news of the peace arrived.

Almost universally until specifically forbiddne in mdoern times it was understood the price of not surrendering was looting.

And even the Roman army didn't have absolute discipline, and would always include more irregular units that might not be as firmly bound by discipline.

Again, that's why I was talking about the customs of war. It was an usual outcome but not the main goal of most sieges.



Again according to the blog the Romans weren't interested in razing the city as much as breaking the power of Carthage. The Romans evnetually supported and rebuilt a city about where Carthage had been, one of the most important grainproducing regions for Rome.


Yes, but even the first political demands were really heavy. According to my sources the breaking point would be the torture of roman prisoners by the Carthaginians. The late description of Appian show the moment were the war start to become "inexpiable" and may explain the violence of the romans:

When daylight came, Hasdrubal, enraged at the attack upon Megara, took the Roman prisoners whom he held, brought them upon the walls, in full sight of their comrades, and tore out their eyes, tongues, tendons, or private parts with iron hooks ; of some he lacerated the soles of the feet, of others he cut off the fingers, and some he flayed alive, hurling them all, still living, from the top of the walls. He intended to make reconciliation between the Carthaginians and Romans impossible, and sought to fire them with the conviction that their only safety
was in fighting. (Roman History VIII, 18, 118.)

Epimethee
2018-07-21, 04:54 PM
Really sorry for the double posting but I missed your response Kader and I don't want to let you hanging. S


The salt bit is well known but not found in the primary sources. The Romans did sack the city and burn it to the ground, but they resettled it before too long.

Without saying that such harsh treatment of captured cities was an ironclad rule, I wouldn't say it was so rare as to be an exception either. The Romans did pretty much the same thing to Corinth the same year that they razed Carthage, for example, and not out of any particularly bitter enmity that we can discern.

See my response above.

About Corinth, the bitter enmity was not present. It may have been nevertheless a politically charged action, not to see the achaeans league resurrect. The bitter enmity against Carthage is still special in a pragmatic roman civilisation, even if the means are more common than my foggy memories has made them. But take that as mostly small talk, I make more or less informed guesses here.





I think probably just because it was pretty hard to do it earlier, with the besiegers outside the walls and the population ready to fight fires, rather than because they chose not to burn the city earlier.

Kind of a simple take, but I think the simple answer might be the right one in this case.

And a good one, albeit I think the fight would become more and more violent with each passing year.

Vinyadan
2018-07-21, 05:06 PM
As correctly observed, I was mistaken about which battle I was thinking of: it was Smolensk. Tolstoy also seems to agree that the bombardment didn't cause too much damage, with a couple of fires being caused by it, but arsonism by the retreating Russians soon followed (which is described as having an oddly festive attitude about it, very much like a countryside bonfire).

Vinyadan
2018-07-21, 05:30 PM
Concerning fire and Carthage, fireproof materials existed in antiquity, untreated hide for example was placed on certain siege machines. The buildings closest to the walls might have been protected this way, at least in their most exposed parts.

The Jack
2018-07-21, 09:39 PM
A 5.56x45mm round carries around ~1800 joules of energy. Running that through some calculators, you'd need around a 2000 watt laser to deliver that much energy. Commercial 2kw lasers draw as much as 16 kw during cutting operations. The smallest battery I can find with that level of storage is roughly the size of a refrigerator.

I don't need it as powerful as your regular carbine round, but I do need it powerful enough to do damage. If it looks like a bazooka and stings like 22lr, it's worth it. Magic could do the rest to minaturize things, but I need to know the starting point. (less magic=better)

Also 2kw cutting lasers using 16kw of power... There's vital information missing here (IE time), and we're only trying to maim people, not carve steel.

Gnoman
2018-07-21, 09:49 PM
Electrical energy isn't converted into collimated light without loss. That's why industrial lasers have to be liquid cooled to handle the waste heat.


Let's go with the .22. A laser as powerful as a .22 would be absolutely useless as a weapon (.22 is almost useless, and physical force injures a lot more easily than hot light does), but you're the one setting the requirement. A .22 delivers around 180 joules of energy. That's around 200 watts of laser, based on the same calculators I used before. You *can* build that into a bazooka-like form. Somebody did it on Youtube. It can light cardboard on fire. You might get a slight burn if somebody pointed it at you. If you tried to use it in combat, a squad might be able to disable one guy before that guy took them all out with conventional weaponry.

Brother Oni
2018-07-22, 03:23 AM
Also 2kw cutting lasers using 16kw of power... There's vital information missing here (IE time), and we're only trying to maim people, not carve steel.

The problem is that unlike a conventional round, the laser needs time to input energy into the target. If your laser can't input enough energy in time (eg the target spins or moves, thus dispersing the energy buildup), then it's ineffective.

There's two ways of delivering enough energy within the target time frame: have a static target (eg industrial cutting lasers) or massively up the laser power. A 2kW cutting laser requiring 16kW of energy is on the low end (that sheet of steel isn't going anywhere). From looking at a couple of promotional videos for industrial laser cutters, it takes fractions of a second to cut through 1mm steel sheets at touching distances. Meanwhile the LaWS (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_Weapon_System) outputs ~30kW to destroy targets at distance instantly via 6 lasers converging in on the target.

I'm not sure what the energy efficiency of the LaWS is, but assuming a linear scale up from Gnoman's values, that's 240kW to output 30kW. Using an industrial sized battery (this Hitachi Chemical (http://www.hitachi-chem.co.jp/english/products/sds/ibattery/001.html) one), you'd need 20 batteries per shot, which would weigh a little over 9.5 tonnes and take up 3.8 m3 of space (a little under half an apartment dumpster I think).

The reason why distance is mentioned earlier is due to thermal bloom (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_blooming), which reduces the laser's effectiveness at range. Mist and fog reduces it even more, so you need even more energy to maintain effectiveness at range. Focusing will also become more of an issue at distance, but I'm not sure whether achieving resolution is a matter of better lenses or more power.

Pulsed lasers would indeed be a way of reducing the maximal energy draw, but at the expense of requiring more time on target - generally not an issue during industrial or science applications, definitely a concern for military use.

Finally you mention 'only maim people and not carve steel' - are you shooting at stationary naked people or moving soldiers with body armour?

The Jack
2018-07-22, 10:41 AM
Yes my apologies. It's a question that's constantly been met with simplistic answers every time i've tried using google (so impractical! you need tons! Lasers blind people! Science fiction lasers are nothing like real lasers!!) whilst the scientific papers I've found haven't been of relevance. The .22 round example was just an extreme, I just need something that'll reliably harm an unarmed person within 50 meters.
I'm concerned with using lasers to fight supernatural threats (vampires, werewolves, spirits, monsters) that variably defeat conventional ballistic weaponry with their powers (they're usually pretty lax with armour, as a pride/overconfidence thing) (poisons are hopeless, melee combat suicidal)

Science VS Magic.
Or science, aided with a little magic, VS straight magic.


I'm not doing a M:TA Technocracy game though; It's not magic that masquerades as science.
Binding a spirit into an energy weapon solves the power issue, but I think it should be done sparingly. But importantly I'm trying to work out the damage table of energy weapons. I don't think I should just be aping the conventional guns, and having a better idea of laser damage/power consumption/battery size would help out.

Also, back-strapped power packs are an option. Or other on-body power packs... which brings on a bonus question; How much power would be needed to work a a full set of cybernetic limbs/muscle replacements which are superior in strength to human muscle? How many organs would you need to gut for the battery to fit? I kinda handwaved it since we seem closer to the technology, but it wouldn't be bad to know.

Galloglaich
2018-07-22, 11:10 AM
Oh please, in what way is that a large cannon (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumhart_von_Steyr)? :smallwink:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/96/HGM_Pumhart_von_Steyr.jpg

Ah the age of medieval superguns. What a time that must have been. . .

Yes the supergun of the Late Medieval world is an impressive and interesting phenomenon, from which I see your Austrian Pumhard von Steyr and raise you the Flemish Dulle Griet

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/52/Ghent_cannon.jpg/440px-Ghent_cannon.jpg

made by the city of Ghent and named after an interesting (and very DnD esque) character from Flemish folklore, Dulle Griet (sometimes translated as 'Mad Meg') who was a frustrated widow, fed up with war, who led an army of women to hell to fight the devil and retrieve their dead family and neighbors.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b7/Pieter_Bruegel_the_Elder_-_Dulle_Griet_%28detail%29_-_WGA03402.jpg/364px-Pieter_Bruegel_the_Elder_-_Dulle_Griet_%28detail%29_-_WGA03402.jpg
(note the longsword in her right hand)

She was the subject of a great deal of art, including most famously this psychedelic painting by Pieter Brueghel

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a8/Dulle_Griet%2C_by_Pieter_Brueghel_%28I%29.jpg/1280px-Dulle_Griet%2C_by_Pieter_Brueghel_%28I%29.jpg


These guns had a similar mission in a certain sense - the goal in most cases was to prevent the successful siege of the town. Late medieval towns were very well fortified, as they spent a fortune on improving their fortifications, in many cases almost continuously from the 13th Century onward, and they typically stayed a step or three ahead of their princely rivals in military technology (their biggest threat was from other towns usually). By the late 14th Century, most significant European towns were sufficiently fortified to be all but immune to attack.

https://www.contemporarynomad.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/siena-city-walls.jpg
People tend to underestimate the scale of medieval fortifications. This is a 14th Century gate in Siena.

http://www.castellitoscani.com/photos/volterra_000.jpg
https://www.italyguides.it/images/toscana/volterra/blog/hero-blog.jpg
Fortifications of a small Italian hill town in Tuscany (Volterra)

But the new generation of cannon potentially threatened fortified towns, especially those with the older type (tall and thin and flat) walls as opposed to the newer (wide and sloped and geometrically complex) walls which were very expensive and disruptive to implement. It also took time to update fortifications on such a scale. One way to buy time to do this was to build guns big enough to literally blow away any kind of enemy cannon or siege engine before it could be brought to bear.

http://www.artistsedge.com/luccawalls.jpg
The city walls of Lucca are by contrast, easier to get over with a ladder but much harder to blast apart with a cannon...

Some princes with very large castles (residenz) to defend also had guns like this forged, such as the Plumhard von Steyr siege mortar you showed us. But again, the purpose was to buy time to update the fortifications and modernize the military defenses in general (with especially more guns but also a lot of other stuff).

That is why the Medieval supergun had a relatively short window - most of them were made between roughly 1380 and 1420. After that smaller and more mobile guns became more popular.

These weapons look clumsy and crude but they were extremely powerful weapons. We have one well documented example to give us an idea how formidable these things could be. In the late 14th and early 15th Century, the German city of Brunswick (Braunschweig) (https://en.wikipediam.org/wiki/Braunschweig) was involved in a series of struggles with rival regional princely families which overlapped with a struggle for autonomy for several North-German towns. Brunswick itself and the nearby Salt-mining town of Luneburg were both targeted by certain noble families to be mediatized and turned into princely residenz.

Brunswick was in real trouble because due to an internal revolution by the craft guilds and exile of their city council, they had been temporarily banned from the Hanseatic League, and therefore had no backup against such formidable princes as Duke Magnus II "Torquatus" of the powerful Welf family. To prevent annexation and maintain their independence, Brunswick took several steps. They created a landwehr (in the form of a series of ring of raised earth walls like a dyke or levee) and a series of ditches around the city about 10km around, protected by three fortified gates. They founded a cavalry society called the Lilienvente fielding 400 lances, and in 1411 had a huge supergun forged in the town foundry called the Faule Mette (https://en.wikipediam.org/wiki/Faule_Mette) ("lazy whore").

https://file.wikipediam.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/9e/Braunschweig_Brunswick_Faule_Mette.jpg/300px-Braunschweig_Brunswick_Faule_Mette.jpg
Three years after this engraving of the Faule Mette was made, the weapon was fired for the last time.

Like many of the medieval superguns, the Faule Mette was rarely if ever used, it was more useful for it's potential than for it's actual employment in combat. Almost like a modern nuclear weapon, it was there to guarantee freedom from attack. But one thing that makes that particular guns interesting is that it was kept for a long time, centuries, and in the 18th Century after the decision was made to melt the massive bronze gun down (I think to be made into church bells, swords into plowshares). Before destroying the mighty weapon though, they decided to test it. In 1717 they shot a 725 stone ball 2400 meters with that beast. According to period accounts, the boom was so loud it could be heard 20 miles away.

https://file.wikipediam.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/24/Braun_Braunschweig_UBHD.jpg/1280px-Braun_Braunschweig_UBHD.jpg
By the later 16th Century Brunswick had updated their city walls and could breathe much easier without fear of being overrun.

Of course the very largest 'superguns' were made by the Turks, whose cannon-building capabilities seem to have been sharply increased by the mysterious Hungarian, Romanian or German (possibly Transylvanian Saxon) gun-founder named Orban or Urban (https://en.wikipediam.org/wiki/Orban). Orban couldn't find work in Hungary or Austria, but found that the Ottoman Sultan was more than willing to fund his ambitious ideas. He ended up creating a craft-guild style workshop and trained a generation of Turkish gun-founders. After he blew himself up with one of his own guns, one of his apprentices, Munir Ali, forged perhaps the greatest medieval supergun ever made in 1464, the so-called Dardanlles gun (https://en.wikipediam.org/wiki/Dardanelles_gun).

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/11/Great_Turkish_Bombard_at_Fort_Nelson.JPG/640px-Great_Turkish_Bombard_at_Fort_Nelson.JPG
The Dardanelles gun was designed to be disassembled (threaded to be screwed together)

The 15th Century Dardanelles gun, pictured above, was powerful enough to shoot across the Dardanelles, a choke point in the Bosphorus strait (https://en.wikipediam.org/wiki/Bosporus) which we say today divides Europe and Asia, and thereby could close the Strait and block access into the Black Sea should the Great Sultan wish it. Built in 1466, it was last used in 1807 against the English who tried to force their way into the strait but were repelled by the gun suffering numerous casualties. By then the Turks no longer had ammunition, the giant 1,000 kg iron balls, that the gun shot but they shot miscellaneous junk which was sufficient to kill 28 British sailors.

All this brings up another issue - the vulnerability of medieval towns to sieges, which the summary of upthread I disagree with (perhaps not surprisingly). When and if time permits I'll chime in on that one too and provide some examples, sources and data. And if I find even more time, reply to some other things upthread. For now though, that's it!

G

Brother Oni
2018-07-22, 12:55 PM
I'm concerned with using lasers to fight supernatural threats (vampires, werewolves, spirits, monsters) that variably defeat conventional ballistic weaponry with their powers (they're usually pretty lax with armour, as a pride/overconfidence thing) (poisons are hopeless, melee combat suicidal)

I think an understanding of how lasers destroy their targets is in order. Essentially a laser is just a way of adding energy to a substance. If you add enough energy fast enough, the outer layers of substance hits its boiling point, boils into gas and that superheated gas ignites and burns. Since you're doing this in a fraction of a second, this causes an explosion, which causes additional damage. Since in most substances there's a big gap between the boiling point and the point where a substances burns, there's a large amount of secondary damage caused through burns (heated material that hasn't boiled/vaporised).

Whether this has an effect on whatever supernatural critter you're shooting at, depends on how their powers distort the laws of physics.

Since most game and film interpretations are broadly the same as the World of Darkness, I'd classify lasers as fire damage, thus would deal aggravated damage to vampires and garou/other changing breeds. Lasers would deal normal damage to Mummies (although they'd come back as normal), Demons can resist it as lethal damage, while Wraiths are largely immune.

As a rule of thumb for any other interpretation, start with how they would deal with fire damage.



Binding a spirit into an energy weapon solves the power issue, but I think it should be done sparingly. But importantly I'm trying to work out the damage table of energy weapons. I don't think I should just be aping the conventional guns, and having a better idea of laser damage/power consumption/battery size would help out.

I think you're heading in the wrong direction by having lasers and other directed energy weapons trying to mimic conventional weaponry rather than take advantage of their unique advantages. Pushing a small piece of metal at high speeds into a target is always going to be more effective than trying to get a laser to burn the same wound tract.

Pulsed energy projectiles (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulsed_energy_projectile) work by ablating the surface layers of the target into plasma, which causes that explosion mentioned earlier. In addition to the knock down effect, the EM radiation from the exploding plasma has the side effect of causing nerve induction in humans and other mammals, which results in great pain and temporary paralysis.



Also, back-strapped power packs are an option. Or other on-body power packs... which brings on a bonus question; How much power would be needed to work a a full set of cybernetic limbs/muscle replacements which are superior in strength to human muscle? How many organs would you need to gut for the battery to fit? I kinda handwaved it since we seem closer to the technology, but it wouldn't be bad to know.

Current exoskeletons augment human capabilities and those intended for mobile use have only a limited endurance; the since cancelled HULC had an 8-10 hr battery life, weighed 24kg (without batteries) and augmented the wearer's strength to carry up to 200lbs easily. Replacing human limbs instead of augmenting them would be tricky and the main failure point would be where the cybernetics connect to the body - even if your top of the range Hitachi Heavy Industries SupaLifta™ arm is rated for 200 kg, what happens to the rest of you (spine, legs, shoulder mounting) when you pick up that 200 kg load?

Depending on what exactly you need your setting to do, it may be better to handwave certain things, like battery technology. One possibility is to have ubiquitous cybernetics which are only slightly bulkier than average which would have the battery internal to the limb (cannibalising space in the thorax is just silly); due to their commonality, there would be copious public wireless recharge points where the comparatively short life of the battery (a couple hours of regular use, a few minutes at maximal use) could be offset.

Note that 'bulkier than human' is quite a wide range: the average adult male bicep circumference is ~13" according to the CDC (link (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_11/sr11_252.pdf)), while Dwayne Johnson's is 20".

The Jack
2018-07-22, 04:54 PM
I think an understanding of how lasers destroy their targets is in order. Essentially a laser is just a way of adding energy to a substance. If you add enough energy fast enough, the outer layers of substance hits hits its boiling point, boils into gas and that superheated gas ignites and burns. Since you're doing this in a fraction of a second, this causes an explosion, which causes additional damage. Since in most substances there's a big gap between the boiling point and the point where a substances burns, there's a large amount of secondary damage caused through burns (heated material that hasn't boiled/vaporised).
Yep, All good, I just need to know about power requirements.

Whether this has an effect on whatever supernatural critter you're shooting at, depends on how their powers distort the laws of physics.

Since most game and film interpretations are broadly the same as the World of Darkness, I'd classify lasers as fire damage, thus would deal aggravated damage to vampires and garou/other changing breeds. Lasers would deal normal damage to Mummies (although they'd come back as normal), Demons can resist it as lethal damage, while Wraiths are largely immune.

As a rule of thumb for any other interpretation, start with how they would deal with fire damage.

This is close to the logic behind it. If the laser weapon does less damage, but does the right kind, it doesn't really matter as much that it's less effective on humans in comparison to a real gun, so long as it's effective.





Current exoskeletons augment human capabilities and those intended for mobile use have only a limited endurance; the since cancelled HULC had an 8-10 battery life weighed 24kg and augmented the wearer's strength to carry up to 200lbs easily. Replacing human limbs instead of augmenting them would be tricky and the main failure point would be where the cybernetics connect to the body - even if your top of the range Hitachi Heavy Industries SupaLifta™ arm is rated for 200 kg, what happens to the rest of you (spine, legs, shoulder mounting) when you pick up that 200 kg load?
One possibility is to have ubiquitous cybernetics which are only slightly bulkier than average which would have the battery internal to the limb (cannibalizing space in the thorax is just silly); due to their commonality, there would be copious public wireless recharge points where the comparatively short life of the battery (a couple hours of regular use, a few minutes at maximal use) could be offset.
Already thought of most of this. I'm designing a system. Got options from simple prosthesis with their own batteries to full-body muscle and bone replacement/reinforcement (and some of the stuff you'd need to prevent yourself dying within a week from that). World of Darkness wise, the latter muscle replacement is in the 4-7 strength range (7 is magic, 6 probably is) For the more extreme augmentation, maybe cannibalizing the thorax is necessary, I don't really know, but this conversation has made me consider using the replacement of the former bones for batteries (and ethics... ethics can be left behind when you consider the monsters that must be faced. Small sacrifices for the greater good)

Vinyadan
2018-07-22, 05:22 PM
@ Galloglaich, if you have the chance, try visiting Grosseto : the walls there are intact. And now the Venetian walls in Northern Italy are UNESCO heritage sites, too. https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1533

The Jack
2018-07-22, 06:14 PM
Is a modern handcannon possible? (20mm gun, 30mm gun... maybe even 40mm)

I'm assuming a huge guy. We can call him Muscles McMann.

Carl
2018-07-22, 06:19 PM
Further to Mike_G's comments, NegrThe British are always quick to steal anything (antiquities, land, vocabulary), not just good ideas. Nationality is irrelevant. :smallbiggrin:

Brit here can confirm.


Science question.

I've been wondering about laser weapons. I understand infantry weaponry isn't considered viable because of the power supply issue, but I have wondered if that's because truly it's impossible to get the power from an easy man-portable source, or if it's because a man portable source would have greatly inferior ammo capacity to a rifle/LMG belt.



I want hard science as a basis for the weapon (with a little magic to maybe smooth the power issue over if neccessary.) My partner, a physicist that isn't really into lasers, suggested pulses would be preferable in weapons to constant beams. Regardless, lasers might have advantages in my setting over a particular enemy in particular environments.

Does anyone know how big the battery would need to be to get a shot off with firearm levels of damage? (or how many shots a battery of X size could get off.


A 5.56x45mm round carries around ~1800 joules of energy. Running that through some calculators, you'd need around a 2000 watt laser to deliver that much energy. Commercial 2kw lasers draw as much as 16 kw during cutting operations. The smallest battery I can find with that level of storage is roughly the size of a refrigerator.

Ok the main thing you have to understand about lasers is how they deal damage, Brother Oni wasn't completely on target but he was close.

There are a variety of stages and i'll summarize the main ones.

Burns: At lowish power levels your gonna get simple surface burns, (flesh and the like), or surface heating, (most non-flesh material), depending on the target material. Some materials will catch fire.

Melting: I'm not sure if flesh can melt but most materials can, this isn't violent or hugely destructive unless you hit a big area at once, but it's a lot more permanent for than the preceding level.

Boiling: The material turns to vapour but does so in a relatively gentle fashion. It's generally difficult to do this with a weapon, you either get the next stage or melting due to the time factor involved in the energy delivery.

Flash Boiling. You take the material from normal to vapour really rapidly. What you get, (in layman's terms), is somthing similar to a steam explosion. But you can get this kind of effect out of good old fashioned steel if you dump enough energy into the stuff quickly enough.

Thermal Shattering: Whenever flash boiling occurs the sudden thermal expansion creates a shockwave within the material heated. Dump enough energy, (and i mean an obscene amount for most materials, though some ceramics and the like are unusually vulnerable), rapidly enough into any material and the energy density of the shockwave will exceed the target objects ability to handle and it shatter. And yes even soft soggy bready can shatter if you hit it with enough energy rapidly enough in one spot.


Generally for a weapon flash boiling is going to be the minimum, though some ceramics can suffer thermal shattering before that point because they're so brittle.

Unfortunately humans, and presumably most supernatural bad guys are, to borrow an old star trek line, "Ugly bags of mostly water". Water really dosen;t like boiling at all. Flash boiling it is even harsher. It takes roughly 3kj per cubic centimeter, (or 1 gram or 1ml), to turn water into steam, but your not going to get a super violent expansion that way no matter how fast you do it, you need to heat it to a few hundred degrees beyond boiling ideally. And even 1 cubic cc undergoing that isn't really going to compare to even low powered ballistic. Your going to need to do that to an area of several dozen cubic cc's. Your probably looking at delivering 35kj in a few hundreds of a second duration pulse over an area roughly 30mm across to make a decent weapon.

But thats just the energy the target needs to absorb. Contrary to what movies teach you a LOT of the energy won't be absorbed. Even blackened aluminium only displays around 10% absorption at moderate power levels. The levels were talking about here will help. But overall i'd assume you need tp put around 10 times that out the barrel. That's 350kj of energy output. And lasers aren't efficient. The 25% efficiency of that industrial system is actually really dammed good by laser standards,. In fact it;s almost got to be an infrared laser, which is not necessarily the best weapon. Especially if you want visible laser beams. hats probably in the 2-3 times less efficient range. As a safe estimate i;d assume you need to dump roughly 3 megajoules through the system.Leaving aside how your going to cool that getting that kind of energy is hellish. The best rechargeable batteries have an energy density per unit volume of about 2.2MJ per litre, or about 4.4 mj per 2L bottle of coke, and a weight density fo just 0.79MJ per KG, even a 100KG backpack is only going to give you around 30 shots, and whilst they're going to be destructive. Hollowpoint assault rifle ammo will probably be about as effective against normals.

Yeah, thats a lot of energy.

Carl
2018-07-22, 06:20 PM
Is a modern handcannon possible? (20mm gun, 30mm gun... maybe even 40mm)

I'm assuming a huge guy. We can call him Muscles McMann.

Not in any practical sense no.

Oh you could probably build something that fired a highly subsonic projectile in that calibre range. In fact they allready exist. We call them grenade launchers.

But an actual full bullet velocity level, nope, nope, and more nope.

Mr Beer
2018-07-22, 06:24 PM
The Jack,

What are the ways that the monsters defeat conventional firearms? I'm having a hard time understanding how developing militarily effective man portable lasers is an imperative over modifying existing firearm technology.

I'm concerned with using lasers to fight supernatural threats (vampires, werewolves, spirits, monsters) that variably defeat conventional ballistic weaponry with their powers

Brother Oni
2018-07-22, 06:54 PM
Already thought of most of this. I'm designing a system. Got options from simple prosthesis with their own batteries to full-body muscle and bone replacement/reinforcement (and some of the stuff you'd need to prevent yourself dying within a week from that). World of Darkness wise, the latter muscle replacement is in the 4-7 strength range (7 is magic, 6 probably is) For the more extreme augmentation, maybe cannibalizing the thorax is necessary, I don't really know, but this conversation has made me consider using the replacement of the former bones for batteries (and ethics... ethics can be left behind when you consider the monsters that must be faced. Small sacrifices for the greater good)

I'm not sure where you got the idea that there's space in the thorax and abdomen to store large batteries if you move a couple of organs, but there definitely isn't. There's also the issue of wiring them up to the limbs from that storage. It'd be better to have a battery waistcoat, which plugs into the limbs and hope not to get mistaken for a suicide bomber with an explosive vest on (although since batteries can explode when shot at, technically you are one).

I'm thinking just borrow all the near future cybernetics/bioware tech from Shadowrun/Cyberpunk 2077 and use Strike Force Zero justification (ie Technocracy powered science).


Is a modern handcannon possible? (20mm gun, 30mm gun... maybe even 40mm)

I'm assuming a huge guy. We can call him Muscles McMann.

This is a 20mm 'small arms' weapon and what it fires next to a regular big calibre, the .50 BMG:

http://www.anzioironworks.com/images/20mm022standingatangle-FP.jpg
https://staticdelivery.nexusmods.com/mods/1151/images/thumbnails/12800-0-1462148112.png
Firearms of this type are kinetic penetrators - for them to do damage, you need throw that lump of metal very fast and big cartridges lets you put in lots of bang to do that. Since Sir Isaac Newton is an complete and utter git, throwing that BIG lump of metal VERY fast means lots of recoil, so no to the handcannon.

Calibre doesn't matter as much for kinetic penetrators compared to the size of the charge due to KE = mv2: for example the classic big hand cannon the Desert Eagle, fires a .50 calibre, while the venerable M2 heavy machine gun also fires a .50 calibre round.

https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-2fe65d335be0b7b38af4901f4e3ab039-c
Despite them being the same calibre, the one on the right is far more likely to kill you (and the next few walls behind).


Ok the main thing you have to understand about lasers is how they deal damage, Brother Oni wasn't completely on target but he was close.

I'll confess I'm a biochemist, so my knowledge of physics is fuzzy at best. :smalltongue:


Melting: I'm not sure if flesh can melt but most materials can, this isn't violent or hugely destructive unless you hit a big area at once, but it's a lot more permanent for than the preceding level.

Flesh tends to burn first in an oxygen atmosphere, but flesh and fat can definitely liquefy under heat.

One more comment I'll make - if you're damaging people, flash boiling them isn't always necessary. Second or third degree burns will equally incapacitate them, which saves you about 2.5 kJ per gram of water from the enthalpy of vaporisation.

Whether this is applicable to critters is dependent on whether they have water in their system - WoD vampires technically don't, so would need the full power mode, while Garou could be microwaved on low power (although it'd be likely to annoy them, which is a double edged sword).

The Jack
2018-07-22, 07:20 PM
The Jack,

What are the ways that the monsters defeat conventional firearms? I'm having a hard time understanding how developing militarily effective man portable lasers is an imperative over modifying existing firearm technology.

I'm concerned with using lasers to fight supernatural threats (vampires, werewolves, spirits, monsters) that variably defeat conventional ballistic weaponry with their powers

Magic, dude. Magic that works in ways like " a spell of jam everything of this complexity around me" or "I'll make a deal with the spirit of guns to make me non-gunnable". For the former, mixing guns with lasers is going to mean double the castings and vital time to shoot the bastard. For the latter, well, I don't think the spirit of laser beams is a top priority.

And of course, monsters and their evolved magical resistances are geared towards more mundane things, like hard objects speeding into them. Many of them are very fast and are capable of dodging slower projectiles (if you were going to say crossbows were a better idea than lasers, here's your counter, though primitive weapons are still used)

A bit of ideology goes some way too.


@ Carl, So about 3kgs per shot of laser that does as much as an assault rifle bullet? Can you confirm? I can work with that.

Mr Beer
2018-07-22, 07:30 PM
Magic, dude. Magic that works in ways like " a spell of jam everything of this complexity around me" or "I'll make a deal with the spirit of guns to make me non-gunnable". For the former, mixing guns with lasers is going to mean double the castings and vital time to shoot the bastard. For the latter, well, I don't think the spirit of laser beams is a top priority.

And of course, monsters and their evolved magical resistances are geared towards more mundane things, like hard objects speeding into them. Many of them are very fast and are capable of dodging slower projectiles (if you were going to say crossbows were a better idea than lasers, here's your counter, though primitive weapons are still used)

If the PCs are using lasers against monsters that can magic guns into being useless, can't those creatures then magic lasers into being useless? Seems like it would work for a limited period before they counter it.

As far as speed goes, if a monster is fast enough to dodge bullets, it should be able to 'dodge' lasers at least some of the time observing the PC pulling the trigger and moving aside at superhuman speed. Obviously won't work if ambushed but then presumably it can't dodge bullets if surprised either.

If something is specifically immune to bullets, what about grenade launchers or RPGs or flamethrowers? These are well developed technologies.

EDIT

If your goal is to use lasers because they are way cool, you might want to consider the explanation - maybe the monsters did a deal with the God Of Gunpowder or something but the God Of Lasers just isn't similarly available.

If your goal is defeat bullet-resistant monsters then conventional weaponry can do the job a lot better and more easily than developing lasers.

The Jack
2018-07-22, 07:33 PM
This is a 20mm 'small arms' weapon and what it fires next to a regular big calibre, the .50 BMG:

http://www.anzioironworks.com/images/20mm022standingatangle-FP.jpg
https://staticdelivery.nexusmods.com/mods/1151/images/thumbnails/12800-0-1462148112.png
Firearms of this type are kinetic penetrators - for them to do damage, you need throw that lump of metal very fast and big cartridges lets you put in lots of bang to do that. Since Sir Isaac Newton is an complete and utter git, throwing that BIG lump of metal VERY fast means lots of recoil, so no to the handcannon.




Yes, yes, but could you shorten the barrel and fire such a weapon?

Since you're familiar with WoD: What kind of calibers can a crinos (more likely a strong formori, glabro might work better) use. Actually; Most supernaturals are pretty resistant to ****; they can soak "lethal" damage, some types half bashing, many can heal an injury very quickly. Using calibers you wouldn't consider for a hand held gun is reasonable.

I assure you all; there's method to my madness.

Mr Beer
2018-07-22, 07:35 PM
Yes, yes, but could you shorten the barrel and fire such a weapon.

I believe that to some extent it's pointless because you need barrel length so the bullet 'captures' momentum from the rapidly expanding gas. You can't just put a 50 cal BMG round into a pistol or rather you could but it serves no purpose because most of the propellant is wasted. That's what I think anyway, no doubt some of the firearm people can verify whether I'm talking out of my ass or not.

Gnoman
2018-07-22, 09:43 PM
Revolvers that fire full-rifle rounds exist. They have an extremely niche market, and exist almost purely as a "if we can do this, you know that our ordinary guns will hold up to anything" marketing tactic. This is because firing even a .30-06 from a pistol edges close to "wrist-breaker" territory. Firing anything more powerful out of anything but a large, well braced rifle is a physical impossibility.

Mike_G
2018-07-22, 10:00 PM
Yes, yes, but could you shorten the barrel and fire such a weapon?

Since you're familiar with WoD: What kind of calibers can a crinos (more likely a strong formori, glabro might work better) use. Actually; Most supernaturals are pretty resistant to ****; they can soak "lethal" damage, some types half bashing, many can heal an injury very quickly. Using calibers you wouldn't consider for a hand held gun is reasonable.

I assure you all; there's method to my madness.

You couldn't fire a 20 mm cannon offhand. There's just not enough you to handle the recoil. The most you can expect from a ballistic type round would be the early anti tank rifles, like the Boyes or a modern Barrett .50 cal which throws a big heavy projectile really fast. It's at the outer edge of man portable, and you can carry it and shoot it alone, but it weighs a lot and you won't be making offhand shots.

But you could use a 40mm grenade launcher. Or a Bazooka or a PIAT or RPG or something like that which does a lot of damage without the direct recoil of a ballistic round. The projectile isn't being accelerated so much, because it doesn't depend on momentum to do damage, it depends on the warhead. And you can have all kinds of exciting rounds. Armor piercing, or explosive, or WP, or various incendiary stuff. If the enemy is werewolves or vampires you could do the "Blade" type pseudo scientific stuff like have an explosive round with silver shrapnel or whatever.

The Jack
2018-07-22, 10:09 PM
Just to clarify, when I said handcannon, I didn't mean pistol. I meant a cannon, that you carry in hands. Like the historic handcannons, not the slang for big-caliber pistols. People used to do that sort of thing.


I was wondering if it could be done with a modern weapon (muzzle loading would be acceptable)

Mr Beer
2018-07-22, 10:20 PM
How strong is the person holding the gun and also what do they mass?

Galloglaich
2018-07-22, 10:30 PM
Just to clarify, when I said handcannon, I didn't mean pistol. I meant a cannon, that you carry in hands. Like the historic handcannons, not the slang for big-caliber pistols. People used to do that sort of thing.


I was wondering if it could be done with a modern weapon (muzzle loading would be acceptable)

Of course. A medieval hand-cannon is just like a sawwed off musket. Re-enactors have made them, like you see playing with them here:


Boom With SlayerE

A medieval hand-cannon is just a simple type of firearm, large caliber but relatively low velocity. Similar to a shotgun shooting slugs. Caliber is typically about .75 which is a little bigger than a 12 gauge shotgun shooting a slug which is about .69 inches.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-GYgcW40erK8/TgdsWqGwgaI/AAAAAAAAAB0/25e37wG0llE/s1600/10jpeg.jpg

https://weaponsandwarfare.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/bgnnhhn.jpg

They did have slightly larger ones, equivalent of 1" caliber or maybe 1.5". These were typically hook guns, designed to be steadied by placing the hook over a wall (or the gunwhale of a ship, or the side of a wagon, or a notch in a tree etc.)

Anything larger than that, i.e. a trestle gun etc., is no longer really a 'hand' weapon. Though they did also have volley-guns and pintle-mounted, breach loading guns. These are somewhat like the equivalent of a crew-served weapon.


So yes you could make a modern hand-cannon, people do it there is a kind of subculture of it. You can even get molds cast from original hand cannons and make the same kind of powder.

The closest modern equivalent to a hand-cannon would be a short barrelled and handled shotgun, especially with a high caliber, like this 10 gauge.

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/VqmPXXEkrPQ/maxresdefault.jpg

"back in the day" they also had hand-mortars, but they were much more dangerous to use than the modern equivalent.

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/80/8c/1b/808c1b807e669ca844286bc10064ccab.jpg

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/20/d3/5b/20d35b543f44e621cb98b86bf4835cb7.jpg

Today we have exploding shells with proximity fuses etc. but with basically the same idea.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/49/M79_Grenade_Launcher_%287414625716%29.jpg/1200px-M79_Grenade_Launcher_%287414625716%29.jpg

https://s3.amazonaws.com/mgm-content/sites/armslist/uploads/posts/2015/04/02/4202232_01_cobray_37mm_grenade_launcher_s_640.jpg

Or even one of these

https://www.thebackyardbunker.com/wp-content/uploads/cm/37mm-rotary-grenade-launcher1.JPG

For a higher velocity weapon, a large caliber hunting rifle or one of those nutty .50 sniper rifles is pretty close to say, a mid 16th Century Musket in many respects, only better.

https://sellsword.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/an00124752_001_l.jpg

One of those things can hit pretty damn hard, actually, but modern jacketed bullets are more effective than lead balls. Not to mention modern armor piercing steel core etc. bullets.


G

Brother Oni
2018-07-23, 02:26 AM
If your goal is to use lasers because they are way cool, you might want to consider the explanation - maybe the monsters did a deal with the God Of Gunpowder or something but the God Of Lasers just isn't similarly available.

Take a leaf out of the American Gods setting and have Hephaestus/Vulcan be the god of firearms, but lasers are new technology and that god/goddess won't deal with the critters as they are busy supporting the humans.


Yes, yes, but could you shorten the barrel and fire such a weapon?

As others have said, you can, but it would reduce the effectiveness as the gases still need time to push the round down the barrel. You're much better off using a grenade launcher.



Since you're familiar with WoD: What kind of calibers can a crinos (more likely a strong formori, glabro might work better) use. Actually; Most supernaturals are pretty resistant to ****; they can soak "lethal" damage, some types half bashing, many can heal an injury very quickly. Using calibers you wouldn't consider for a hand held gun is reasonable.


How strong is the person holding the gun and also what do they mass?

Starting with an average human male as a guideline (177cm tall, weighs 75kg, can deadlift 100kg), you're looking at something that is 192cm tall, 150-225kg and can deadlift 250kg in Glabro (bestial human form) and 288cm tall, 300-675kg and can deadlift 400kg in Crinos (classic werewolf form).

The issue with larger calibres than 20mm is that nobody makes small arms any bigger - they're all crew served weapons beyond that. I'd be happy with letting a Crinos use a 20mm rifle like a regular bolt action rifle (assuming they can get one made in their size), but a Glabro is still within the physical capabilities of a big strong guy, so they're stuck with regular weapons.

As for supernatural critters being resistant to kinetic projectiles, this is why we have different ammunition types, from incendiary rounds, all the way up to HEI, AP/API to really exotic stuff like FAP (Frangible Armour Piercing) and PELE. This is before you start making post market modifications like adding silver/gold plating to the fragmentation charge.

The Jack
2018-07-23, 06:23 AM
Take a leaf out of the American Gods setting and have Hephaestus/Vulcan be the god of firearms, but lasers are new technology and that god/goddess won't deal with the critters as they are busy supporting the humans.



As others have said, you can, but it would reduce the effectiveness as the gases still need time to push the round down the barrel. You're much better off using a grenade launcher.





Starting with an average human male as a guideline (177cm tall, weighs 75kg, can deadlift 100kg), you're looking at something that is 192cm tall, 150-225kg and can deadlift 250kg in Glabro (bestial human form) and 288cm tall, 300-675kg and can deadlift 400kg in Crinos (classic werewolf form).

The issue with larger calibres than 20mm is that nobody makes small arms any bigger - they're all crew served weapons beyond that. I'd be happy with letting a Crinos use a 20mm rifle like a regular bolt action rifle (assuming they can get one made in their size), but a Glabro is still within the physical capabilities of a big strong guy, so they're stuck with regular weapons.

Given what they do, Garou are never the average guys , they're physically fit even before the magic (and the magic benefits from it). They typically have 3-4 in their physicals, and fives aren't so rare (Player character creation/XP mechanics don't really advocate this, but there's no reason why NPCs wouldn't follow this; even a theurge is still part of "gaia's warriors". When they add 4/1/3 to their stats, they're always beyond human capabilities, and they can usually do it with 2/0/2 bonus. (pups and metis with appropriate deformities excepted)
Here's the the chart. "
1 Crush a soda can 40 lbs.
2 Break a chair 100 lbs. (average human)
3 Bust down a wooden door 250 lbs.
4 Break a two-by-four 400 lbs.
5 Smash open a metal fire door 650 lbs. (peak human)
6 Throw a motorcycle 800 lbs.
7 Flip a small car 900 lbs.
8 Snap a lead pipe 1000 lbs.
9 Punch through a cement wall 1200 lbs."
It goes on, but we're talking characters of five to eight strength. (Or five to six in glabro, but they can reach seven) and stamina boosts usually come alongside the strength. For formor? In 20th edition they can get +12 from combining four different powers (a +2, two +3's, a +4) and that's incredibly unlikely, but if they get a strength booster it'll likely be a jump that makes them an olympian, since they'll start in the 1-5 range (and the magic behind that disgusting strength is more somewhat more likely to be attracted to someone initially big)

But, y'know, I don't think an IRL strongman is going to struggle with carrying a big gun, and they've got more size to them to distribute the kickback. Sure, they're like, the easiest target to shoot, but we're not considering conventional war here.

Brother Oni
2018-07-23, 06:59 AM
But, y'know, I don't think an IRL strongman is going to struggle with carrying a big gun, and they've got more size to them to distribute the kickback. Sure, they're like, the easiest target to shoot, but we're not considering conventional war here.

It's not carrying the rifle that's the issue, it's the handling and use of it. Even the biggest sword never got much beyond ~4.5kg and regular people can manipulate that weight easily.

In the case of the Anzio 20mm, you're talking about a 2.5 m long, 40kg rifle that designed to have its centre of mass around the bipod at the end of the receiver. Using your figures of 1,000lbs (STR 8), that puts them 4 times as strong as an average human at 250lbs (STR3). This would theoretically make handling a 40kg rifle like a 10kg one - this would make it equivalent to a SAW rather than an assault rifle (the heaviest AR I know of is the L85A2 with all the gubbins at ~5kg or 11lbs).
The M240 is one of the heavier SAWs in use at 27.6lb (12.5kg) loaded and some posters here have first hand experience of how much a pain in the arse that is to hump around. If it were up to me, I'd be more than happy to scale it a bit so that a Crinos form garou could handle it a bit easier, but expecting a strongman to be able to shoot an Anzio 20mm from the shoulder while standing because they can carry that level of weight easily, isn't realistic to me.

In the end, we can only offer our opinions as to what could be regarded as realistic. As it's your setting, feel free to take what you want from our suggestions.

Carl
2018-07-23, 07:56 AM
I'm not sure where you got the idea that there's space in the thorax and abdomen to store large batteries if you move a couple of organs, but there definitely isn't. There's also the issue of wiring them up to the limbs from that storage. It'd be better to have a battery waistcoat, which plugs into the limbs and hope not to get mistaken for a suicide bomber with an explosive vest on (although since batteries can explode when shot at, technically you are one).

I'm thinking just borrow all the near future cybernetics/bioware tech from Shadowrun/Cyberpunk 2077 and use Strike Force Zero justification (ie Technocracy powered science).



This is a 20mm 'small arms' weapon and what it fires next to a regular big calibre, the .50 BMG:

http://www.anzioironworks.com/images/20mm022standingatangle-FP.jpg
https://staticdelivery.nexusmods.com/mods/1151/images/thumbnails/12800-0-1462148112.png
Firearms of this type are kinetic penetrators - for them to do damage, you need throw that lump of metal very fast and big cartridges lets you put in lots of bang to do that. Since Sir Isaac Newton is an complete and utter git, throwing that BIG lump of metal VERY fast means lots of recoil, so no to the handcannon.

Calibre doesn't matter as much for kinetic penetrators compared to the size of the charge due to KE = mv2: for example the classic big hand cannon the Desert Eagle, fires a .50 calibre, while the venerable M2 heavy machine gun also fires a .50 calibre round.

https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-2fe65d335be0b7b38af4901f4e3ab039-c
Despite them being the same calibre, the one on the right is far more likely to kill you (and the next few walls behind).



I'll confess I'm a biochemist, so my knowledge of physics is fuzzy at best. :smalltongue:



Flesh tends to burn first in an oxygen atmosphere, but flesh and fat can definitely liquefy under heat.

One more comment I'll make - if you're damaging people, flash boiling them isn't always necessary. Second or third degree burns will equally incapacitate them, which saves you about 2.5 kJ per gram of water from the enthalpy of vaporisation.

Whether this is applicable to critters is dependent on whether they have water in their system - WoD vampires technically don't, so would need the full power mode, while Garou could be microwaved on low power (although it'd be likely to annoy them, which is a double edged sword).

I went with the flash vaporise more for the theory that vs a supernatural beastie your probably going to want a hard kill rather than a soft one.. And thanks for the clarification on flesh, that was what my brain was telling me but i wasn't confident it was right.


Magic, dude. Magic that works in ways like " a spell of jam everything of this complexity around me" or "I'll make a deal with the spirit of guns to make me non-gunnable". For the former, mixing guns with lasers is going to mean double the castings and vital time to shoot the bastard. For the latter, well, I don't think the spirit of laser beams is a top priority.

And of course, monsters and their evolved magical resistances are geared towards more mundane things, like hard objects speeding into them. Many of them are very fast and are capable of dodging slower projectiles (if you were going to say crossbows were a better idea than lasers, here's your counter, though primitive weapons are still used)

A bit of ideology goes some way too.


@ Carl, So about 3kgs per shot of laser that does as much as an assault rifle bullet? Can you confirm? I can work with that.

More like about 4.4kg's. Roughly the same size as the picture below and twice the weight:

https://cdn.bmstores.co.uk/images/hpcProductImage/imgFull/106242-Pepsi-2L1.jpg


Ok first thing you need to understand about big powerful rounds. They're big powerful rounds because you have a big ass heavy bullet moving at high speed. And you get a high speed by applying a lot of force over a period of time. Simply put you can't shorten a guns barrel without costing yourself velocity. You could in theory use a higher pressure round instead, but that requires a tougher gun which means even though it;s now shorter it's probably heavier too.

he second thing you have to understand is we're pretty much hit the natural limit of what you can do with firearms in a man portable form. The video below is of 0.577 Tyrannosaur. It's a bit less powerful than .50 BMG but from what i understand the guns that fire it are a bit easier to use than a true 50 cal rifle.At the end of the day handling recoil is more about, (assuming you have the right technique), pure raw mass of the shooter, it dosen;t matter how strong your dudes are, if they weigh in similar to a normal human they aren;t handling any more. For that matter unless there bones are less prone to breaking under shock loads they probably couldn;t handle any more even if they where more massive.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrImp-ek3bI



Ok onto the question pf supernatural durability. Simply saying they've got resistances tells us sweet bugger all in real world terms. Do the bullets slow down before they hit them due to a magic field,. do they do less damage than normal, do they just heal normal damage really quickly. All of this makes a difference.A magic field that slows sots down isn't going to do anything to a laser, whilst vs a fast healing effect a laser has no advantage over a gun. And the takes less damage could go either way depending on how exactly it works.

Galloglaich
2018-07-23, 09:35 AM
More hand cannon stuff - crew served weapon #1



Breach Loading Cannon

Galloglaich
2018-07-23, 09:37 AM
And #2


7 Barrel Volley Gun

Galloglaich
2018-07-23, 10:12 AM
As far as the whole lasers vs. werewolves thing... while the link to the real world is a bit tenuous for any of this (at best) the challenge of using lasers can perhaps be addressed in more creative ways.

These days though miniaturization of batteries, today especially with lithium batteries, and with increasingly powerful lasers, proceeds at a linear but rapid rate, other technologies notably computers and accompanying software like neural nets and other limited forms of AI, and drones of all types, have increased exponentially in effectiveness while decreasing in cost and size.

If you wanted to use laser weapons against any particular target, (I refuse to use that Cajun derived term being bandied about here as an insult to my peoples local cultural practices) perhaps the best way would be to set up an ambush with a lot of drones.

It is possible to set up a 200 watt laser as you can see this kid did here, sufficient to burn through a computer monitor or light a fire in a matter of seconds.


laser

You can also buy slightly less powerful commercial lasers (http://www.wickedlasers.com/arctic) on the low-level consumer market for ~$200. Cluster say 5 of those together and you have something pretty dangerous. If you had connections and a lot more money, you can get a small portable laser very capable of instantly starting fires.

So theoretically, you could send out a fleet of drones equipped with such lasers, controlled by AI and have them track an individual through their daily routines. You can use drones to setup recharging stations with solar panels, say on the roofs of buildings on the daily route of your target (as determined by software via face recognition). Or up in the tops of trees or whatever.

Use drones to place the lasers where you want them - or to takeoff and shoot from the wing so to speak at the moment of the ambush. Then spring an ambush with 20 or 50 lasers, the software can be used to coordinate the laser beams so that they concentrate on the same spot or spots. One thing about lasers, the target may not even know he is being targeted until they are already taking damage. Lasers make no sound and you can't see them in say, bright daylight.

This may all sound a bit complicated but my point is simply that with neural-net AI, drones, and networking, you can accomplish a great deal which is well beyond what most people tend to consider, and without putting anybody in harms way. Commercially available and DIY lasers are already pretty close to the point where they could be used to cause serious harm (especially if you combined multiple lasers to shoot at the same target - say your wolf dudes eyes). If you presume somebody with deep pockets, I don't think it's unreasonable to assume you could acquire lasers an order of magnitude more powerful with batteries that were considerably smaller and more efficient.

Of course to me, for a real-life scenario, a grenade or the much maligned but decidedly lethal .22 bullet would probably be more effective than a laser and is also easily portable by commercially available drones. An ambush where you were shot at by say, 30 .22 LR caliber rifles from relatively short range would probably be pretty devastating to any real-world target. Even if they had body armor, .22s are accurate and computers (perhaps with the help of laser designators) can aim them very precisely, get them in the face, neck, knees or armpits or wherever they aren't covered by armor.

G

gkathellar
2018-07-23, 11:20 AM
I feel like if you have regenerating/bulletproof/highly-durable movie monsters, the logical first thing to do is to equip your dudes with nets and harpoon guns. Worry about killing the thing later - just stopping it will be good enough to start.

Galloglaich
2018-07-23, 11:41 AM
If your movie monsters are vulnerable to fire then booby traps based on exploding gasoline are probably your best bet, along with other incendiary weapons which are widely available and easy to access.

http://www.modernforces.com/img/new_site/m34_grenade_450.jpg

White phospherous grenades.

gkathellar
2018-07-23, 11:53 AM
If your movie monsters are vulnerable to fire then booby traps based on exploding gasoline are probably your best bet, along with other incendiary weapons which are widely available and easy to access.

http://www.modernforces.com/img/new_site/m34_grenade_450.jpg

White phospherous grenades.

There's a good bit on this in the otherwise very different manga Hellsing, in which a non-powered mercenary, tasked with defending a house from a bunch of vampires, concludes he has absolutely no business trying to fight the monsters conventionally and just fills the grounds with claymore mines.

In general, I feel like the scientific approach to fighting monsters would involve a minimum of action-movie set pieces and a maximum of shenanigans.

Brother Oni
2018-07-23, 03:31 PM
In general, I feel like the scientific approach to fighting monsters would involve a minimum of action-movie set pieces and a maximum of shenanigans.

It even comes with the added advantage of the proper fighting techniques like the WP 'shake and bake' not being a potential war crime as the monsters aren't people. :smalltongue:

Homemade napalm in molotov cocktails (for added zing, add some magnesium ribbon to the bottle) would also be entertaining.

Carl
2018-07-23, 04:56 PM
As far as the whole lasers vs. werewolves thing... while the link to the real world is a bit tenuous for any of this (at best) the challenge of using lasers can perhaps be addressed in more creative ways.

These days though miniaturization of batteries, today especially with lithium batteries, and with increasingly powerful lasers, proceeds at a linear but rapid rate, other technologies notably computers and accompanying software like neural nets and other limited forms of AI, and drones of all types, have increased exponentially in effectiveness while decreasing in cost and size.

If you wanted to use laser weapons against any particular target, (I refuse to use that Cajun derived term being bandied about here as an insult to my peoples local cultural practices) perhaps the best way would be to set up an ambush with a lot of drones.

It is possible to set up a 200 watt laser as you can see this kid did here, sufficient to burn through a computer monitor or light a fire in a matter of seconds.


laser

You can also buy slightly less powerful commercial lasers (http://www.wickedlasers.com/arctic) on the low-level consumer market for ~$200. Cluster say 5 of those together and you have something pretty dangerous. If you had connections and a lot more money, you can get a small portable laser very capable of instantly starting fires.

So theoretically, you could send out a fleet of drones equipped with such lasers, controlled by AI and have them track an individual through their daily routines. You can use drones to setup recharging stations with solar panels, say on the roofs of buildings on the daily route of your target (as determined by software via face recognition). Or up in the tops of trees or whatever.

Use drones to place the lasers where you want them - or to takeoff and shoot from the wing so to speak at the moment of the ambush. Then spring an ambush with 20 or 50 lasers, the software can be used to coordinate the laser beams so that they concentrate on the same spot or spots. One thing about lasers, the target may not even know he is being targeted until they are already taking damage. Lasers make no sound and you can't see them in say, bright daylight.

This may all sound a bit complicated but my point is simply that with neural-net AI, drones, and networking, you can accomplish a great deal which is well beyond what most people tend to consider, and without putting anybody in harms way. Commercially available and DIY lasers are already pretty close to the point where they could be used to cause serious harm (especially if you combined multiple lasers to shoot at the same target - say your wolf dudes eyes). If you presume somebody with deep pockets, I don't think it's unreasonable to assume you could acquire lasers an order of magnitude more powerful with batteries that were considerably smaller and more efficient.

Of course to me, for a real-life scenario, a grenade or the much maligned but decidedly lethal .22 bullet would probably be more effective than a laser and is also easily portable by commercially available drones. An ambush where you were shot at by say, 30 .22 LR caliber rifles from relatively short range would probably be pretty devastating to any real-world target. Even if they had body armor, .22s are accurate and computers (perhaps with the help of laser designators) can aim them very precisely, get them in the face, neck, knees or armpits or wherever they aren't covered by armor.

G

I don;t want to try and rain on your parade too hard but that home made laser of his is not remotely a practical weapon. The computer case is the really telling one, it took him a few seconds to go through what was clearly simple plastic, not metal, (it looked like a laptop case TBH), and he had to get a perfect focus to do it. I remember my materials sciences classes, we had to do an experiment where we held various pieces of plastic under a cigarette lighter flame and they chewed through much thicker plastics much faster. Hell look at the balloon at the end, there's a visible delay after the beam settles on them before they pop and anyone who's ever messed with a lighter under a balloon knows how easy they go pop. Same on the delay with the cardboard igniting, and basically everything he was shooting at has good absorption properties, (thats kinda why many plastics degrade when exposed to light for a sufficiently long period of time, they absorb the high, (blue, purple and ultraviolet), frequencies and it messes up their molecular structure).

Bearing in mind real world constraints of distance, focusing ability, and lack of ability to practically linger on one spot for that length of time you'd need several tens of times the energy just to get the end effect he got. To do anything worthwhile you'd probably need another order of magnitude beyond that. Thats getting really dicey to do. And really voluminous. DOn;t get me wrong the basic concept has merit, but you'd need somthing a lot better than a 200W laser, 2KW is probably the minimum you want to work with, and even then you need dozens of them focusing a target. Thats far from trivial to do. not impossible mind but really freaking unpleasant to work with.

What i will say is that bit where he was shining it around the room before he shots specific things. Thats a really good example of what a continuous beam laser rifle would look like. A pulsed would just be the same, but for an eye flickering instant.

Mr Beer
2018-07-23, 06:02 PM
If werewolves are vulnerable to silver and fire, then a typical soldier should pack a rifle with silver bullets and an underslung grenade launchers with WP and/or silver shrapnel rounds. SAWs can fire silvered ammo.

Anywhere you can't engage at long distance, which lets face it is the only way humans would want to fight terrifying werewolves, you would use flamethrowers, submachine guns and shotguns, again with silver ammo and silvered knives, bayonets and hatchets.

Carl
2018-07-23, 06:19 PM
Incendiary ammunition is also a thing, and i heard a story, (no idea if it's true), that the british army experimented with jacketed magnesium bullets that split their jackets on contact with a target causing the magnesium to go off. Sounds a bit fishy with my level of knowledge now but i wouldn't rule it out.

Mr Beer
2018-07-23, 06:30 PM
Yep incendiary ammo makes sense.

Tracer is incendiary, right? That's an option right now without having to develop silver ammo (which presumably has different ballistic properties to lead).

Shotguns seem like they would be useful as well, since they're more forgiving of specialised ammunition. A fully automatic shotgun firing silver buckshot would be devastating at close range to a silver-vulnerable werewolf - and unarmoured humans of course. And there's lots of incendiary shotgun rounds available.

The Jack
2018-07-23, 08:04 PM
Truthfully I got lots of ideas. I've even got low-yield explosives launching small silver balls, strapped to armoured vests, to go off on manual trigger/when a werewolf claw tries to go through the thing. Causing potential light injuries to the goodies and death to the wolf menace. A non-suicide suicide bomb, if you will.

But I'm writing for a rollplaying game, I'm looking at aspects of WoD and extrapolating. I need to exhaust every possibly reasonable method of eradicating the supernatural menace, who have so many screw-physics powers.They're A myriad of evil. Why, vampire super strength isn't just more powerful muscles; they make the world resist them less, and in a world like that, a little excess isn't unreasonable. And we all know what players are like.

Thus, PMCs funded by wealthy corporations to wage secretive wars alongside the regular ones, Overly large caliber firearms, laser beams, cyborgs, killer robots, chemical weapons that usually don't even work... I'm focusing on the people who fight the monsters, so it's not indicative of the world as a whole. My take on WoD is that it's not worst case scenario, it's just our problems amplified by supernatural caricatures, and I've got no problem in playing the devil's advocate. I really don't want to spoil the book, so I've taken pains to be vague, but about a third of it is dedicated to groups like pentex trying everything to eradicate the fanatical changing breeds that slaughter their people and destroy all the things they've built.

Serious looks on playing formori, cyborgs and others. Big calibers, laser guns, doing absolutely everything you can to have a chance of winning. Werewolves alone can earn a billion different powers from their dark spirit masters, so clearly one needs a billion different ways to kill the pricks. No stone should be unturned. It helps that, even without mage shenanigans, one can get some pretty interesting things, but I... There's a lot of nuance in what should be more realistic and what shouldn't be realistic in a fantasy setting based on the real world, and I don't feel the writers get it right sometimes. In some instances (mythological pasts) it can be fun. But I basically want to do -if magic people needed to use real weapons against other magic people, how would it go-


So I've tricked myself into believing that using harder-science things against -magic- would be a good thematic point. There's sometimes even a hard science approach to magic. I think that Big guns are a start, the weapon tables for WoD games usually stop at 8 dice of damage and armour was made a joke, but you can use the examples given (ignoring some) to extrapolate higher calibers (it's diminishing returns, a 7.62x51 should do about 10, a .50 does 16, I'm still wondering how I should taper off something that does 18)

I really shouldn't have written this much. I feel defensive. But what I want is lasers, at the moment I feel like asking how much damage a would a 20mm, 30mm or even 40mm cannon should do if you fired it standing? because with the increased endurance and regeneration of some folk, it might be worth it. It's the kind of setting where making yourself resistant to acid/gas/fire/radiation/electricity and using yourself as bait for such a trap is a great idea (not quite, but don't tell the troops that. Trading ten lives to kill a werewolf is a good deal (again, don't tell the troops that), so ruining a few lives with unethical upgrades to bring the death numbers down to seven or eight is not an opportunity that should be missed. (

A hundred KG backpack isn't really a hindrance for some of the denizens of this world, so how much power would you need to have people explode into a fine red mist? How big do effective laser weapons need to be to not overheat?

Mr Beer
2018-07-23, 08:11 PM
Modern volunteer militaries don't run on the premise that its worth losing 10 soldiers to kill one of many opponents. If a single werewolf will butcher 10 normal soldiers before dying in a typical firefight, military commanders will 'cheat' or rather they will find a better way to kill werewolves.

They will locate them with drones or spyplanes or spotters and saturate the area with 155mm artillery or 500lb bombs or helicopter gunships firing miniguns and missiles.

The Jack
2018-07-23, 08:20 PM
Modern volunteer militaries don't run on the premise that its worth losing 10 soldiers to kill one of many opponents. If a single werewolf will butcher 10 normal soldiers before dying in a typical firefight, military commanders will 'cheat' or rather they will find a better way to kill werewolves.

They will locate them with drones or spyplanes or spotters and saturate the area with 155mm artillery or 500lb bombs or helicopter gunships firing miniguns and missiles.

It was kind of a joke, I mean, it's not...
You've got a bunch of regular security that aren't in the know, then you've got your spec ops team who're prepared for the fight. The spec ops team... Well, that can go either way because both sides can vary to extremes in experience and power, but the regular security will be lucky to survive even if someone slipped them silver rounds and the delirium-resistant eye protection. For a myriad of reasons, you shouldn't escalate the fight and keep it small. 155mm artillery and 500lb bombs aren't going to be so readily available in a secret war.

Mr Beer
2018-07-23, 08:38 PM
Unprepared security could and should get butchered. Spec Ops, if heavy casualties are the standard for every mission, they will find a better way to do it. If that means hitting a building with a missile and calling it a 'gas explosion', that's what's going to happen.

Obviously from an RPG perspective that's boring though. But a specialised werewolf killing team won't be routinely losing half the squad every mission. Special Forces are expensive as hell to recruit, train and maintain, you don't casually chuck them away. So I'd suggest their weapons and tactics would allow them to routinely defeat a standard werewolf incursion.

The Jack
2018-07-23, 09:20 PM
Literally writing a book on it.

Galloglaich
2018-07-23, 10:20 PM
I don;t want to try and rain on your parade too hard but that home made laser of his is not remotely a practical weapon. The computer case is the really telling one, it took him a few seconds to go through what was clearly simple plastic, not metal, (it looked like a laptop case TBH),

(snip)

Bearing in mind real world constraints of distance, focusing ability, and lack of ability to practically linger on one spot for that length of time you'd need several tens of times the energy just to get the end effect he got. To do anything worthwhile you'd probably need another order of magnitude beyond that. Thats getting really dicey to do. And really voluminous. DOn;t get me wrong the basic concept has merit, but you'd need somthing a lot better than a 200W laser, 2KW is probably the minimum you want to work with, and even then you need dozens of them focusing a target. Thats far from trivial to do. not impossible mind but really freaking unpleasant to work with.

What i will say is that bit where he was shining it around the room before he shots specific things. Thats a really good example of what a continuous beam laser rifle would look like. A pulsed would just be the same, but for an eye flickering instant.


yeah commercially available lasers clearly aren't weapon grade ... yet. I think what that kid really did was take a bunch of laser pens and combine them together into one beam. I was just showing that as an example to indicate that even with these things we are getting close to something you could use to cause some actual trouble... if you had 30 or 40 of them pointing at the same thing simultaneously. Presumably software could do the tracking.

but if you had a PMC dealing with some heavy duty threat (monsters!) then presumably, if you had say Erik Prince money, you could today buy a laser maybe 10 or 20 times more powerful than that one that kid had in his garage (maybe a like targeting / range-finding laser for a tank or something... how powerful are those?), and if you put 50 of those out on some ambush site, (planted by drones) and used software to coordinate their beams, then yeah, I think they might be pretty dangerous. At the very least you could blind somebody pretty quickly.

Apparently the US Navy has a laser CIWS weapon deployed in the Persian Gulf right now...

https://www.cnn.com/2017/07/17/politics/us-navy-drone-laser-weapon/index.html

...so if your game is set say 20 years in the future you can probably imagine man (or beast ... muahhaha) portable lasers that can do some real damage. I realize of course that military laser draws way more power than you are normally going to want to contend with, but they do get smaller and more powerful over time.

G

Brother Oni
2018-07-24, 02:15 AM
I really shouldn't have written this much. I feel defensive.

No need to feel defensive - if you give us more details of the scenario that you're interested in, then we can give more detailed responses rather than hash over things that you already know but haven't told us.

As for a secret war and air dropped precision munitions/artillery - if it's like WoD, caerns and dragon nests are usually in remote wild places, where use of such hardware is more likely to go unnoticed.

The Jack
2018-07-24, 07:21 AM
Folks may have any combination of the following.
Enhanced size
Tough flesh, capable of turning blades/bullets, often less resistant to fire, although sometimes very resistant to fire
Armoured skin (and fur)
Immunity to mundane poisons, resistance to magical ones.
The effect of reducing forces that act against them.
An energy field around them that protects from damage. (yet to deduce how this could work physics wise, Maybe it's like hitting a thick, resisting liquid, or a magnet that repels everything hostile.)
Regeneration, though not for 'special' damage (or greatly slowed)
instantaneous Healing, often for special damage.

Great strength, which should allow them to carry heavier equipment (more armour than a human could wear)

Along with other nonsense like invisibility (at least five different methods to achieve this one effect) /jam weapon/the crazy mobility that makes them very hard to hit.

But, a few of the troops on your side can access some of these. The powers bestowed are rarely as good, but it means giant power packs, crazy recoil and so on are viable.

I've worked most of it out myself. I just need weapon physics questions, like:
Lasers- How big does the emitter/cooler need to be for the intermediate blaster discussed earlier? What's the least power I could use for instant anti-personal damage. What's the energy a 40kg weapon (separate battery) could deliver. Whatabout 80kg?
Cannons- How much can I shorten them with higher pressures/thicker barrels, what's the force different guns will send back into you if shot standing. (I can work out how terrible that force will be on different supernaturals on my own)

wolflance
2018-07-24, 09:43 AM
If werewolves are vulnerable to silver and fire, then a typical soldier should pack a rifle with silver bullets and an underslung grenade launchers with WP and/or silver shrapnel rounds. SAWs can fire silvered ammo.

Umm, if we can afford to go overboard, maybe something like a silver-coated plate armor, with in-built powered exoskeleton, covered in silver-coated barbed spikes on the armor, may allow us normies to go toe-to-claw against a werewolf? It is technically doable with today's technology too.

The suit can potentially make the wearer more or less invulnerable (to a werewolf), since trying to bite/claw open something covered in silvercoat spikes must not be the brightest of idea for the werewolf unless it's being suicidal.

For added kicks, maybe the normies can attempt to take advantage of the heightened sense of smell/sight/hearing/taste of werewolves (depending on the setting), and install some infinite Scoville heat units pepper spray/mega stink gas dispenser/giga flashbang/ultra taser etc on the armor? Use a rebreather or something to avoid taking in the same gas. While none of these are lethal to a werewolf, and it may even regenerate in short order, they should still disable the werewolf long enough to allow a normie to poke a silvered spear into somewhere more vital.

* powered exoskeleton is there since blade/bullet turning is mentioned. Apparently the bullet turning ability can be overcome with high powered handcannon, so I thought this apply similarly to melee weapon too.
* if the werewolf has hax power like conceptual total immunity to bladed weapon that is impossible to overcome, cover the armor in something it can't be immune to, like silver-coated werewolf teeth from another werewolf you previously killed.


Typically against supernatural monsters with weakness to a specific substance, the most logical course of action is to abuse that substance to high heaven. Apply the substance on everything: weapon, bullet, armor, trap, bomb, bait, transports, hideout, barbed wire, or even inside the body of your agents. This isn't just to have an effective weapon against the threat, the point is to abuse said substance to the point that no matter what action your threat choose to take, it will suffer disproportionate amount of damage/lost.

The Jack
2018-07-24, 11:12 AM
Oh yes, I've worked out the finances for this stuff. Long term cost projections make extermination a very attractive goal, and for dead werewolves; even if you ignore the ridiculous bounties posted, some very rich people will spend top dollar on werewolf parts for research/spells/esoteric reasons. Silver is, in relative terms, laughably inexpensive (and recyclable) and Turning the land it to a waste of poison with smells, noise and bright lights is a common occurance (and burning away all the cover they can use)


I've actually puzzled over silver armour. I don't know how it'd effect the damage model. Would the pain weaken the strike, would the hands and claws splatter on impact, would the strike go through as normal and the wolf would just suffer a level of damage/lose use of their hand. Wasn't a question I was going to ask the thread, but feel free to PM me what you'd think would happen.

( there was silver armour in an older edition of WoD but all i remember of it was that it was garbage and expensive for gameplay reasons)

SleepyShadow
2018-07-24, 12:14 PM
I hope I'm not derailing things by posting this, but I have a question on military logistics and I was hoping you beautiful people could help me out :smallbiggrin:

In the D&D campaign I'm running currently, the world is being invaded by a technologically superior but numerically inferior force (Ragesia). Between the tech and magic they have at their disposal, they are the equivalent of WWI era Germany. The problem they have is an incredibly problematic birth rate (only one in ten children are male, thus the bulk of the military is female). As such, they only have 90,000 total troops to field. Supply lines are not currently an issue.

The defending nations are Zounah (Roman Empire at its peak), Sterich (classic Vikings), Seldarine (elf version of medieval England), Goltrand (dwarf country, best weapon available is the arquebus), Meltis (gnomes, they have developed steam engines), Ken Kosuta (feudal Japan), Al-Hassan (Late Bronze Age New Kingdoms Egypt), Thalos (greatest hits version of Athens/Sparta), and Tularus (elf Mongolia under Ghengis Khan). I can provide more information later if need be.

With all that said, my question is this: Where would the best place be for Ragesia to concentrate its forces to establish a foothold in the world, and how likely are they to actually succeed at conquering the world? Could they even hold whatever territory they manage to take?

Rerem115
2018-07-24, 01:13 PM
Have you read 1632? That might help give you some insights.

In all seriousness, though, here's my 2 cp on your post:

--If 90% of the population is female, that's the opposite of a problematic birth rate; assuming that they're mammalian with normalized gestation periods, they're all set up for a population explosion if polygamy is the cultural norm. Females are normally the limiting factor when it comes to population growth, since most can only have 1 child/litter at a time, while males can easily father children with several females. Basically, it's going to grow ~80% faster than standard humans, all things being equal.

--Is Ragesia just being plopped down in the middle of one of these countries? Is it an already existing nation? How many neighbors does it have? With that said, based on what information you gave and everything else in a vacuum, its most likely path to survival is to have its 1st/only neighbor be Thalos; their tech level is lowest, and assuming city-state government, least likely to unify and drive out the invaders.

--Where are countries located on the map; without any direction, I'm assuming identical to their real-Earth homelands. With that as a baseline, Ragesia would likely form alliance/nonaggression pact with Zounah after subjugating Thalos (should be pretty easy, since they would be fragmented, weak, and likely outnumbered on an individual basis, if not in total, by a unified Ragesia), before turning their attentions to Al-Hassan. Conquest would be a bit trickier than Thalos, but given tech disparity, still pretty easy.

--With NotEgypt and NotGreece under their control, Ragesia would now have a significant powerbase in the NotMediterranean. Given their booming population, they'd be primed to either solidify their alliance/conquer Zounah. With WWI level tech and the entire Mediterranean under control of 1 nation/2 closely aligned nations (Think Polish/Lithuanian Commonwealth), they'd be primed for global conquest. I give the whole process a 50-200 year timeline, depending on how unified the rest of the world becomes in the face of such a monstrous foe.

SleepyShadow
2018-07-24, 04:16 PM
--If 90% of the population is female, that's the opposite of a problematic birth rate; assuming that they're mammalian with normalized gestation periods, they're all set up for a population explosion if polygamy is the cultural norm. Females are normally the limiting factor when it comes to population growth, since most can only have 1 child/litter at a time, while males can easily father children with several females. Basically, it's going to grow ~80% faster than standard humans, all things being equal.
They have normal gestation periods, but they have a high infant mortality rate.


--Is Ragesia just being plopped down in the middle of one of these countries? Is it an already existing nation? How many neighbors does it have? With that said, based on what information you gave and everything else in a vacuum, its most likely path to survival is to have its 1st/only neighbor be Thalos; their tech level is lowest, and assuming city-state government, least likely to unify and drive out the invaders.
It is not an existing nation on this world. Essentially, after a scouting phase of the different countries, the bulk of the army will plop itself into whichever country Ragesia thinks it can conquer with the least amount of difficulty so they can establish themselves.


--Where are countries located on the map; without any direction, I'm assuming identical to their real-Earth homelands. With that as a baseline, Ragesia would likely form alliance/nonaggression pact with Zounah after subjugating Thalos (should be pretty easy, since they would be fragmented, weak, and likely outnumbered on an individual basis, if not in total, by a unified Ragesia), before turning their attentions to Al-Hassan. Conquest would be a bit trickier than Thalos, but given tech disparity, still pretty easy.
I'm sorry, my digital map making skills aren't exactly great. I promise I can do better by hand lol :smallredface: Here's the best approximation I can give:
https://image.ibb.co/cRiyET/Zoltas_Map_Base.jpg


--With NotEgypt and NotGreece under their control, Ragesia would now have a significant powerbase in the NotMediterranean. Given their booming population, they'd be primed to either solidify their alliance/conquer Zounah. With WWI level tech and the entire Mediterranean under control of 1 nation/2 closely aligned nations (Think Polish/Lithuanian Commonwealth), they'd be primed for global conquest. I give the whole process a 50-200 year timeline, depending on how unified the rest of the world becomes in the face of such a monstrous foe.

Ragesia isn't really interested in alliances, at least not early on. Thank you for getting back to me so quickly :smallsmile:

Gnoman
2018-07-24, 04:21 PM
I hope I'm not derailing things by posting this, but I have a question on military logistics and I was hoping you beautiful people could help me out :smallbiggrin:

In the D&D campaign I'm running currently, the world is being invaded by a technologically superior but numerically inferior force (Ragesia). Between the tech and magic they have at their disposal, they are the equivalent of WWI era Germany. The problem they have is an incredibly problematic birth rate (only one in ten children are male, thus the bulk of the military is female). As such, they only have 90,000 total troops to field. Supply lines are not currently an issue.

The defending nations are Zounah (Roman Empire at its peak), Sterich (classic Vikings), Seldarine (elf version of medieval England), Goltrand (dwarf country, best weapon available is the arquebus), Meltis (gnomes, they have developed steam engines), Ken Kosuta (feudal Japan), Al-Hassan (Late Bronze Age New Kingdoms Egypt), Thalos (greatest hits version of Athens/Sparta), and Tularus (elf Mongolia under Ghengis Khan). I can provide more information later if need be.

With all that said, my question is this: Where would the best place be for Ragesia to concentrate its forces to establish a foothold in the world, and how likely are they to actually succeed at conquering the world? Could they even hold whatever territory they manage to take?

If your setting is even remotely realistic, you have two massive problems for your invaders to overcome. The first is sheer numbers - no matter how high the tech imbalance is, you're almost certainly take some casualties, if only from ambushes and raids. Proportionally, that hurts a lot. The Imperial Roman army peaked at around 450,000 men. That means that each man you lose is worth 5 of theirs, if you're fighting just that one empire. If we take that as a representative average (some of the countries would be smaller and others larger given their inspiration), you're potentially pitting 90,000 troops against >4,000,000 - a ratio of 45:1. This means that a night time raid that kills ten or twenty of your troops will outweigh a skirmish where you wipe out a decent-sized unit with no casualties.

This doesn't even get into the second aspect of size - the ability to replenish losses. If you smash a 5,000 man legion in January while losing two guys, and they have a new Legion in place by March and you still haven't been able to replace your two guys, they came out ahead on the exchange. In other words, attrition is very much NOT in your favor.



The second major problem you're going to run into is that your tech advantage will be transitory. Even the most primitive opponent will start to gain ground on you, if only by raiding your supply lines to steal your gear. The more advanced nations would have an excellent chance of using your technology to improve their own, eroding your advantage even if they don't come close to matching you.


With this in mind, the only winning move is not to play. If you have to play, then there are only two real options.

Option 1 is a limited campaign, focused on conquering the dwarves and gnomes. They are your biggest threat, because they have the best chance of narrowing the tech gap and will make best use of anything they capture. They also have the best odds of an active insurgency, so you want to be at your peak strength to take them on. The downside of this is that you alert the other nations, giving them a chance to ally against you. If you get hit while trying to consolidate your conquest, there is an excellent chance that you'll go under.

Option 2 is not limited. Hit everybody at once with overwhelming power in an effort to crush all organized resistance in one blow. You'll be stretched too thin to easily consolidate your power, and you run a high risk of losing outright, but if it works you'll "only" have to deal with an insurgency instead of formal armies.

The Jack
2018-07-24, 04:22 PM
(a lot of posts popped up when i was writing this one)

Yeah, what was said about the females, basically. Unless it's done in a 9/10 males die during infancy way, a 9-1 ratio sounds like paradise...



It would be very reasonable to take the gnomes first, being the only industrial era nation the damen can easily adopt/advance the gnomish infrastructure and take advantage of a skilled workforce for future conquest/entrenchment . It'd would be far more of a hassle to adopt the more primitive nations into their territory, though it might be prudent to work with one nation to take down the gnomes to save manpower. (edit: you don't need to properly ally with them, just use the manpower) .
The gnomes, assuming they have modern weapons (having steam) should be a priority, because they're the nation that can catch up, or at least significantly up the firepower of an ally by providing them weapons.

I would try diplomacy first; Impress with power, demand a surrender, play the gnomes off against eachother while cementing a grip.

(also fuedal japan is a really big time period, they were using revolvers at the end of it. Medieval england's a similar problem. You should know that having such huge discrepancies in tech levels is a bit strange, people learn from eachother, but maybe magic makes up for it...)


Also... do they choose where they start? Magic aside, With WWI tech they're probably not going to see the world so great, but with WW1 tech they can make a massacre out of everyone (the gnomes have a chance) WWI artillery can make mincemeat out of dragons and ruin castles, the navy would be invincible, and the army would be invincible on an open field.

Do they really need to take the whole world though? Germany didn't want that much. Don't confuse WWI germany with WWII germany; WWI Germany were quite justifiable in their aggression, and even in WWII they only really wanted to take the east, they didn't actually want to war with the west. Maybe if they just took a nice land with plentiful resources they'd be happy and could leave the rest alone, I'd still recommend taking the gnomes though, maybe the next most advanced too, it's a long term strategy.

PersonMan
2018-07-24, 05:08 PM
Germany didn't want that much. Don't confuse WWI germany with WWII germany; WWI Germany were quite justifiable in their aggression [...]. Maybe if they just took a nice land with plentiful resources they'd be happy and could leave the rest alone, I'd still recommend taking the gnomes though, maybe the next most advanced too, it's a long term strategy.

I'm pretty sure the "equivalent to WWI Germany" was meant to be in terms of technology and effective strength, to provide a real-world baseline for what they could be capable of, rather than meaning that Ragesia is highly similar in other ways.

I'll agree that Imperial Germany's mindset was heavily based in their geopolitical context, but unless we are talking in terms of "entire world", eating up most of Eastern Europe in a peace deal isn't what I'd call "not that much". :smalltongue:

(Avoiding going deeper into the question of justified aggression and such because it seems like the type of thing that'd get deeply political rather fast.)

Epimethee
2018-07-24, 05:09 PM
I really like your scenario rerem115 and the questions you ask are clever and to the point.

With the information we have, and assuming more to come, I think they are still a fews things we could discuss.

More than individual weapons, the bigs guns are what matter the most here. The field artillery of WWI was able to draw a real wall of fire and advance with the infantry, leveling the landscape and saturating an area of terrain. That's not only extremely destructive that's traumatizing for the soldiers submitted to such treatment. I mean... We talk about the total annihilation of an entire army in less than a minute without seeing any enemy.

(as an aside, and even in the very patriarchal society you are describing, I can totally see the male as the frontline warriors but everybody trained in artillery. That could open a lot of cultural opportunities in the description of Ragesia.)

And that's not even talking about the boats, the plane or the zeppelins. The payload of the guns of any cruiser, even the lightest, would level a city in a few shots. Her range of action is incredible, as is her speed, and she could pass trough anything wooden as in plain sea. Gunboat diplomacy at its finest. The only problem would be refueling.

The aircrafts would give them an incredible tactical advantage, even limited to reconnaissance. Ragesia certainly have no need of fighters. Maybe a few bombers would be used, but I'm not sure it would get to that. Don't forget photography and the ability to map not only the surrounding country, but, with zeppelins, huge chunks of the world.
The zeppelin are also amazing for the range of action they give to the soldiers of Ragesia. As much as an aerial assault is not really likely, they would be able to occupy quickly strategic points.

And even the cars, don't even think about the tanks, are able to give them a considerable edge. Trucks and others engines would permit a lot of interesting tactics. Horses are already outmatched, let alone soldiers.

What's interesting it that the ragesians have not only a technical advantage but also a very different strategical landscape than the resident of the world. Their forces are able to be projected across the world in a matter of a blink compared to populations, even huge Empire, stuck in a lesser landscape.

Alos as an aside, wherever Ragesia install itself could be an incredible fortress by the standards of the time. Guns alone make for a kill zone all around the place. Add to that concrete and steel, the underground bunker, and also some machine-guns to really close the land.

Paradoxically I think the huge states are the more vulnerable to this kind of destruction. A centralized power is easier to frighten and to control. With limited troops, conquering one by one every city may be too much of a task. Obliterating a few armies, then going straight to the head may be a correct approach to conquering a huge chunk of land in a single action.
All the better if they are close to sea and I can deploy a dreadnought.

A feudal Non-Japan could be a sweet target, as taking the emperor more or less guarantee the legitimacy of power. Depending of the time you could even have huge social control of the ruling class by a centralized power. You can catch a snake like that by the head.

Then it's only a matter of time. But only according to the way Ragesia balance its power in the territories it conquer. It would certainly be a delicate act: asserting the ragesian power, ensuring the loyalties of the conquered populations, and giving enough strength to my new subjects to subjugate the other nations.
Here again a centralized power has advantages. Ragesians should be careful with their technology. I dare think they would be, at least as long as a war endure, mostly separated from theirs subjects. In a centralized empire, a few chosen technologies, nothing too fancy, some macadam, a few steam pumps, gas lightning... would ensure the glory and the prestige of the new rulers for the general population.
Also after the first conquest I think they would be clever to mostly use locals as soldiers, rewarding them hugely for their conquests. They would use their superiority in mass production to give them weapons, but nothing more advanced than late medieval-early modern weaponry. A bit of drill and mass production of cultural objects later, you can start to discipline those beautiful peoples..

With a strong corps of maybe 30'000 ragesians soldiers at his hearth, some ships, a lot of guns but only used by the ragesians and some locals to make the bulk of the troops, such army would be unstoppable.

But a lot is dependent of the geography. The first target is important because it would lead to the others. The most obvious threat are the most advanced civilizations, but the real issue is more geographical, as long as Ragesia can hold its technological advantage.

(I'm in the same case as you The Jack!)

The Jack
2018-07-24, 05:36 PM
I don't think they'd need a "domination" victory, cultural/ecomomic victory is all they need.

Take the gnomes out, monopolize industrial might, Modernize agriculture, modernish medicine. build luxury goods on a massive scale, trade with other nations. Get rich, buy the rights to key centers of resources (It really helps that many nations won't think much of oil) Build a positive relation with the other nearby realms through being a beneficial neighbour (don't give them the means to make guns.) Put diplomats in every nation. Become a legitimate power, it'll help you win the hearts and minds of the people later, if the goods weren't doing enough.

From there, you can take sides in wars between other nations, gaining land and such. You could organize justifiable war by claiming spies were after your technology or that a government has wrongly seized legal the legal property bought in other nations. By the time they realize what you're doing, there's no way to stop you.

Carl
2018-07-24, 05:53 PM
@The_Jack:

I get a nasty feeling your kinda making the same mistake i did when i was somewhat younger, (damm when did i turn into an old man).

Special forces does not mean elite soldiers best suited to tackling super difficult combat situations. They can do that and they'll outperform regular troops at it, but it's not an efficient use of their skills and veteran regulars could almost match them whilst being significantly easier to replace.

But regular troops couldn't pull an over water HALO insertion with minisub, scuba in to the shoreline from their, silently overrun a small outpost, set demolition charges n the fly to bring it down, then hump it cross country for a few hundred miles to get out providing recon for future operations all the way.

Any number of special regiments could do one of those things. But only Spec Ops are cross trained in enough different things to pull off all of them and do it on the fly with the adaptability to handle even the most insane curveballs. Nobody else has enough cross training or raw combat experiance.

As a result they're not really the best troops to use for the kind of purpose your talking about. What you really want is a specialised regiment trained in the specific tactics and methods for dealing with supernatural beasties. Those are a lot easier to train and you can afford to lose a fair few a lot more.



I also see another issue, you don;t really seem to have a clear grasp of the difference in destructive power levels of various things.A good example. 5.56mm steel jacketed lead will put a hole in at best 3mm of steel, (about 0.12 inches), 50 cal BMG will go through 19mm, (0.79 inches), with armour piercing ammunition, and 40mm APDS will go through over 150mm, (0.15 meters or half a foot).

And thats just armour piercing never mind stuff like explosive shells and HEI rounds for MG's and AR's.

That dosen;t mean somthing that takes most manageable injuries from 50 cal BMG is going to be immune to 5.56mm, (the power difference is about the same as between 5.56 and a low powered air rifle), but it is going to have really reduced effectiveness even with specialist loads. But as the old saying goes. Thrown enough crud at the wall and some of it;s going to stick, or more simply you get a couple fo squads of infantry with a mix of full auto assault rifles and some LMG's and they can put several thousand rounds into the target in the few seconds it will take for it to close. Start throwing in intermediate calibre weapons and full on MMG's with maybe even some vehicle mounted HMG's/Miniguns and your going to start really putting a lot of firepower into them.



In the same vein, anything beyond i'd say 14.5mm russian KPV HMG ammo is basically not man portable unless it;s some sort of low velocity thing like a grenade. And even the former can only eb man portable in single shot form, somthing like 8.6mm Lapua Magnum is probably the upper limit for man portable automatics.

I mean even if you could engineer a gun down light enough to fire whilst standing, firing a 40mm cannon shell is gonna send you flying backwards at something like 20mph. ou can;t really overcome inertia unless you go full on power armour, but current tech can;t really do it. (well we could but we'd have to use some sort of miniaturized fission reactor to power it, but you'd have to be super desperate to do that). Really if there that tough massed multi-shot 40mm grenade launchers strike m as one of your best bets. Something like the frag-12, (a 12 gauge micro grenade that can be fired out of a shotgun), would also work well. You lather ost things in enough high explosive and they'll go down.

The other way you could go is a specialist paramilitary group so obscenely well equipped with every imaginable tech and trick regardless of cost or downside that gives them so much oomf they can actually stand toe to toe with the bad guys and win. Thats not likely to be a standard military response, but it might be how a group of clued in PMC's/private security types go about it.

SleepyShadow
2018-07-24, 05:57 PM
Phew! This is a lot more than I expected. Thanks to everyone for the input and ideas! Since geography is important to the discussion, I'll do my best to get together a geographical map. For now, the political map I posted is the best I can do, but if there's any specific geographical questions on a specific region I'd be happy to answer. Let me know if there's anything else I forgot to mention or if you guys need more information.

@Gnoman: The Ragesians have no choice but to play. Their homeworld is nigh-uninhabitable, and this is the best chance for their people to survive. They need to take territory fast and start moving their civilians in. You're absolutely right on the numbers problem. Ragesia just doesn't have enough soldiers for a protracted war.

@The Jack: Not-Japan's tech is at the point where firearms exist but swords and bows are still commonly found. Not-England, the longbow is the best weapon they've got because the predominantly elf culture is refusing to change to the rest of the world around them. They're content using magic to narrow the power gap between themselves and their neighbors. As for Ragesia needing the whole world, they don't. However, they need to conquer some relatively large chunk of it and hold it indefinitely. And yes, they get to pick the invasion point.

@PersonMan: Yes, technologically equivalent to WWI era Germany. That's all. Sorry I wasn't clearer on that :smallredface:

@Epimethee: Ragesia is a matriarchy, not a patriarchy, but your assessment is otherwise spot on :smallsmile: Ragesian scouts have been stirring up tribes of orcs, gnolls, lizardfolk, and hobgoblins to disrupt the day-to-day routines of the various countries and make their scouting efforts less obvious (and any casualties the countries suffer because of monster raids are gravy). You also make an excellent point about recon. I hadn't thought about what a massive advantage airplanes would have over the best thing that the rest of the countries could use to compete (pegasis/griffon riders).

Mr Beer
2018-07-24, 06:18 PM
Umm, if we can afford to go overboard, maybe something like a silver-coated plate armor, with in-built powered exoskeleton, covered in silver-coated barbed spikes on the armor, may allow us normies to go toe-to-claw against a werewolf? It is technically doable with today's technology too.

So I was thinking in terms of what you could do immediately or nearly immediately i.e. existing tech or with slight modifications. Some kind of fatigues incorporating a silver weave, worn over a stab-proof vest, you could do that right now, that's a great way to at least slow up the werewolf from mauling you to death.

Battlefield exoskeletons are an infancy technology I think but yeah down the track a lot of novel designs would come out of this. If the weres don't use guns, then silver-coated plate armour could be used even without enhanced strength.

Mr Beer
2018-07-24, 06:26 PM
Ragesia will be lol-dominant at sea so I'd be tempted to start by seizing one of the island nations to use as a nigh-invulnerable base/capital/homeland. Have fun using sailing ships against my WWI-grade navy.

A key question here is who has what resources? Because that tells you what you need to take. There's no point in taking the time and effort to crush a fierce desert people in order to own the world monopoly on sand.

Beleriphon
2018-07-24, 06:50 PM
Science question.

I've been wondering about laser weapons. I understand infantry weaponry isn't considered viable because of the power supply issue, but I have wondered if that's because truly it's impossible to get the power from an easy man-portable source, or if it's because a man portable source would have greatly inferior ammo capacity to a rifle/LMG belt.

A combination of the two.



I want hard science as a basis for the weapon (with a little magic to maybe smooth the power issue over if neccessary.) My partner, a physicist that isn't really into lasers, suggested pulses would be preferable in weapons to constant beams. Regardless, lasers might have advantages in my setting over a particular enemy in particular environments.

Does anyone know how big the battery would need to be to get a shot off with firearm levels of damage? (or how many shots a battery of X size could get off.

Depends, battery energy density the main issue with batteries. IF you SCIENEC! up a fusion core/fusion backpack then most of your issues with batteries disappear, but then you're on to carrying around a fusion reactor and something to turn all of that delightful heat energy into electrical energy. Of course, if once make a backpack that doubles a fusion reactor, why not just make bombs out of fusion reactors the size of backpacks?

The Jack
2018-07-24, 06:51 PM
@Sleepy

WW1 Biplanes should exceed all but maybe the fastest of fliers (if it says 90, i'd think about it) and since they're using machineguns and light cannons... they should dominate, even outnumbered. I wonder how old a dragon needs to be for a 40mm cannon to not go through the scales. Yeah.. even early planes were awesome. They could probably threaten dragons into service, or organize their extinction for the hordes.

Suggestion: Skeleton armies and mustard gas combination. It'd just be cool, really.


@Carl when I said special ops I didn't mean something equivalent to the SAS, I meant "the units of a country's armed forces that undertake covert, counterterrorist, and other specialized operations". I mean soldiers given additional training,equipment and sometimes powers, to take on a very special kind of enemy.

As for calibers? Nah, big ones please. Sometimes, shooting the soups with 5.56 IS like shooting a guy with air rifles, and because the buggers regenerate, it'd be real nice to just have a big boomer that'll wreck the guy.

We're not limited to normal people, someone could conceivably wield A bfg under the system. The group that fights the monsters can endow people with powers. They can increase size (from man to pony to horse to rhino, in size) They can grosly increase durability and strength, and they can give people regeneration (the process isn't perfect) So, if you luck out and get enough of these in a single guy, a carbine-cannon isn't the worst thing you can give them (or a giant laser, for that matter)

Also, I did have a good look at force when i set up weapon tables to decide on where guns go. Yeah, .50BMG laughs at 5.56, so 20mm should be great and 30mm should solve almost all problems... but I don't know enough about kickback. 20mm should be doable, but if I had numbers I could write up minimum requirements, 30mm I think is very likely possible, if restrictive. 40mm... Well it's fun to have a dream. some 40mm guns look small enough to be wielded by some of the characters I have in mind.

The world is somewhat satiric, so if you need to loose an arm firing a too-big gun to kill a monster, it totally works. Helps to have regen though.

Rerem115
2018-07-24, 07:50 PM
Hmm. Based on the map provided, I'd still go with aiming at Thalos first; it's isolated, low tech, and once the island/s are under control, it would provide an excellent capital or base of operations, since it's so easy to establish naval superiority. If you want extra fun, have them syncretize with the Thalians; why kill those you can convince to join your cause, especially since your biggest advantage (tech) is easy to share.

Just give the Thalians guns, aim them at a rival such as, say, Al-Hassan just across the sea, and ask for full citizenship/some/most of the land. Once you get a coalition like this rolling, it sets an example; everyone is going to be interested in your fancy new tech, you can provide military aid in exchange for Lebensraum.

The Jack
2018-07-24, 09:18 PM
No clue where the resources are, but if I were to armchair-general this and play it more like total war than civ (my lack of knowledge on the politics or resources of these otherworldly countries being totally due to the limitations of surveillance. I'd start with the greekos, because as said, they're isolated and give a good staging place for further attacks (and naval wise, we're invincible)

Then I'd ask for a non aggression pact with either rome or egypt, ideally rome, so I can take gnomeland. Gnomeland is the absolute key to victory. If you can't have the gnomes under your rule, they need to be destroyed. Plop down a few fortresses if you need to. From there it's just about how much you want, who has resources, and who's trying to learn from your weapons, and where you can make good borders (I can't tell from the map, but mountains, rivers and deserts are important. ) I probably wouldn't bother with the viking's land or the elves. The dwarves have maybe 400 years to catch up with you. Japan's an isolated sidequest.

Kader
2018-07-25, 12:22 AM
Option 1 is a limited campaign, focused on conquering the dwarves and gnomes. They are your biggest threat, because they have the best chance of narrowing the tech gap and will make best use of anything they capture. They also have the best odds of an active insurgency, so you want to be at your peak strength to take them on. The downside of this is that you alert the other nations, giving them a chance to ally against you. If you get hit while trying to consolidate your conquest, there is an excellent chance that you'll go under.

Option 2 is not limited. Hit everybody at once with overwhelming power in an effort to crush all organized resistance in one blow. You'll be stretched too thin to easily consolidate your power, and you run a high risk of losing outright, but if it works you'll "only" have to deal with an insurgency instead of formal armies.

The best answer (insofar as it's the answer of pretty much every real world empire) is to solve the manpower dilemma by embracing Option 3: supplement your army of conquest by recruiting the locals of wherever you take over first.

(and then wherever you take over next, and so on...)

Combine some initial demonstrations of your awesome Ragesian might with regular pay and the benefits of serving (even in a low position) a far higher tech civilization, and you should be able to recruit plenty of auxilia or sepoys or cossacks or spahis or whatever fantasy name seems most appropriate for colonial troops and let them do much of the grunt work of empire-building for you.

Epimethee
2018-07-25, 08:29 AM
Ok, i was under the impression that a hugely militaristic civilization where no woman could fight would be more geared toward patriarchy. I can see a matriarchy, as the mean to keep men in line (as frontline fighters) is the same as the mean to keep the newly conquered armies: a bit of vain glory and pomp and all is well...
Also the fact that artesian are engaged in a war of survival change a lot. I'm not sure the ragesians really need the total control everywhere, but the fews years after their coming is the best window of opportunities, as the technological gap is likely to decrease.

As was noted by many, the crown of the artesian weapons would be the ships. In historical time, the age of the dreadnought is a brief window, but with highly impressive ships. They were not really used, the battle of Jutland was mostly 2 years in the making and then almost all was written, but that was also because of their sheer power. The seas would be quickly mastered by Ragesia, with their speed a handful of ships would be able to blockade most of the commercial ways.

So the idea of taking a stronghold is quite obvious. I would go for Ken Kosuta, as I think it would be more centralized so easier to take and control than a collection of city-states. Then straight to Zouna.
Then the gnomes, then the nonegyptians. By this point I control the most organized civilizations. The rest will fall more or less rapidly, maybe the dwarves, with their deep cities, would cause me more problems, as my heavy artillery would be less efficient.
I'm powerful enough then to wage also a huge commercial war and draw the neighboring cities to my orbit with diplomatic offerings and economical advantages.

But Zouna may also be the first conquest, as a centralized empire I would be able to control quickly a huge chunk of it, even counting on some parts to revolt. It seem also to be really powerful, so that's a player out of the game before it will really began.

Also it may be interesting to wage a small scale invasion on the gnomes first, not to draw the attention of the more powerful players, then use them as a decoy to mask as long as possible the presence of the new power and its technology.
But the gnomes are not the best warriors so it may be more useful, again as noted by many, to use another land as a basis for recruiting an army.

Really Ragesia is in a good place to start such invasion and have many ways to conquer the world. The main concern should be keeping most of the tech for themselves as long as possible.

SleepyShadow
2018-07-25, 09:02 AM
Sounds like Ragesia's best bet would be to hit either Thalos (lower tech) or Ken Kosuta (easier political landscape), then head toward the mainland once they had brought their island nation of choice under control. Use local troops to supplement the army, and prioritize Zounah, the gnomes, and Al-Hassan. Got it. Thanks everyone, you've all been a really big help :smallbiggrin:

I suppose the follow-up question is what could the other countries do to prevent themselves from being taken over?

Cristo Meyers
2018-07-25, 09:34 AM
I suppose the follow-up question is what could the other countries do to prevent themselves from being taken over?

Not a whole heck of a lot. Whomever gets blitzed first is probably going down in pretty short order.

It was noted before that bleeding the Ragnesians would probably be fairly effective. They don't have the manpower for extended conflicts and are going to have issues replenishing manpower, so tactics designed to squeeze them where it hurts are going to be a good bet. Raids, ambushes, asymmetrical warfare, the kinds of things that prioritize killing personnel or otherwise causing casualties. A more morally dark force might even prioritize casualties over deaths: a dead soldier dies and that's it, a wounded casualty needs to be evacuated and is going to sap supplies while they heal.

If it's just too costly to hold onto the land that they're eventually going to seize, then hopefully they'll think twice about seizing it in the first place. Anyone paying attention is going to see that a stand-up fight just isn't going to work.

On a political level, you're probably looking at coalitions forming in response to this new, advanced invasion force. Tech doesn't matter as much when you're looking at having to fight three nations instead of one whenever you pick a fight. If the Ragnesians get spread too thin cracks are going to form. Too much of that and the whole war effort could fall apart even with technological superiority.

Brother Oni
2018-07-25, 09:44 AM
I suppose the follow-up question is what could the other countries do to prevent themselves from being taken over?

The island nations are completely out of luck as there's nothing pre-Industrial Age that could oppose a dreadnought class ship. Adding some details to clarify their superiority, the Konig (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%B6nig-class_battleship) class' thinnest armour was 60mm on the deck and between 120mm to 300mm thick elsewhere.

Its main armament are ten 30.5cm guns with a choice of armour piercing or high explosive shells, so it can flatten any wooden sailing ship. With their range of 10-25 miles (so over the horizon bombardment is possible), being inland isn't too much protection as spotters can help dial in the bombardment (either with semaphore, morse code via lanterns or physical telephone lines). Additionally with its top speed of 21.2 knots, the enemy ships can't even outrun it.

While there is an issue of over-penetration of the main gun shells against wooden ships, that's what HE and the smaller secondary batteries are for (fourteen 15 cm and ten 8.8 cm batteries).

The Bayern class battleships (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayern-class_battleship) are even more overpowered.

Wait, the Ragesians are 90% female? This is sounding suspiciously like High School Fleet (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_School_Fleet) to me... :smalltongue:


As for the other nations, based on the ships alone, any fixed fortification with ~25 miles of the coast is useless, so they would have to oppose the Ragians further inland. If the scale on your map is accurate, this is problematic as at only ~100 miles at its widest point, only Sterich, Zounah and Al-Hassan have significant areas out of bombardment range.

That said, are the Ragians bringing their factories and civilian population with them? Getting a foothold to rest is one thing, being able to reinforce and re-equip (rearm and refuel) is the other, otherwise they would have conserve their ammunition and manpower in all engagements. They could possibly follow the Mongols example - completely flatten the first city as an object lesson to terrify the other cities into surrendering without a fight.

The Jack
2018-07-25, 10:56 AM
The only way a resistance could be formed is if the gnomes got away and aided the other countries in making weapons and started learning more tech, or a huge magical advantage. You could try guerilla warfare, but I think they'd be very capable of either:
A-Wiping out the populace or getting seriously draconian.
or
B- winning people over with better lives (more food, more goods, more luxuries, more modern style of rule)

Decently leveled players should be able to have fun with it, so long as they pick their battles.

Also, I recommend the soldiers wear mail shirts. They'd be able to mass produce better quality stuff than everyone else, and most of their enemies are using weapons that'd be stopped by it. But you wouldn't want them to wear heavy armour because it'd get in the way of visibility/manual dexterity and ammo weighs quite a bit.

SleepyShadow
2018-07-25, 12:29 PM
This has been a fascinating discussion. Thank you so much for all your help!

@Cristo Meyers: Sounds like the island nations are completely out of luck between the blitz and the enormous naval discrepancy. Zounah wouldn't have an issue using guerrilla warfare once they figured out a straight up fight won't work too well. They've got the manpower and definitely amoral enough to prioritize casualties. Politically speaking, Al-Hassan would be the one most likely to form a coalition with the other nations. Any combination in particular that would be good to counter the Ragesians?

@Brother Oni: I apologize, making digital maps isn't my strong point. I got the scale wrong; at its widest point the continent is 745 miles across. Still fairly small, and I'll admit it was a design choice to accommodate players who wanted to do a lot of travelling. I had no idea at the time that entire countries were at risk of naval bombardment. And yes, the Ragesians will be bringing their civilian population with them as soon as they secure one or both of the island nations. Until they do, though, they're definitely to need to be conservative with resources. Any suggestions on where to put the civilians so as to not make them a tempting target for either unscrupulous nations (Zounah, Sterich, Tularus) or my players?

@The Jack: So the gnomes are critical to the survival of other countries. I have at least one player who won't be happy to hear that :smalltongue: I haven't bothered bringing up magic, since I figured it was a bit off-topic for the thread and irrelevant if magical access was equal to all nations involved. Chain armor for the Ragesians makes sense. Any weapons in particular the non-Ragesians would have access to that would penetrate chain?

Mike_G
2018-07-25, 12:35 PM
The big question is fueling the dreadnoughts.

It's unlikely any of the native cultures digs enough coal to supply a fleet of modern armored ships. And to repair them and arm them you'll need huge factories and shipyards, again, which you can't really just seize from the locals.

So, after you win a few impressive victories, you need to very quickly build the infrastructure to allow you to maintain your tech.

Unless you can keep bringing in supplies for the other side, you can't run an Edwardian tech with army pre-industrial revolution infrastructure. Which may be another reason to take over the gnomes. They'd be the ones that could most easily adapt to changes to maintain the tech you will need to stay ahead of the locals.

Carl
2018-07-25, 12:57 PM
@Sleepy

WW1 Biplanes should exceed all but maybe the fastest of fliers (if it says 90, i'd think about it) and since they're using machineguns and light cannons... they should dominate, even outnumbered. I wonder how old a dragon needs to be for a 40mm cannon to not go through the scales. Yeah.. even early planes were awesome. They could probably threaten dragons into service, or organize their extinction for the hordes.

Suggestion: Skeleton armies and mustard gas combination. It'd just be cool, really.


@Carl when I said special ops I didn't mean something equivalent to the SAS, I meant "the units of a country's armed forces that undertake covert, counterterrorist, and other specialized operations". I mean soldiers given additional training,equipment and sometimes powers, to take on a very special kind of enemy.

As for calibers? Nah, big ones please. Sometimes, shooting the soups with 5.56 IS like shooting a guy with air rifles, and because the buggers regenerate, it'd be real nice to just have a big boomer that'll wreck the guy.

We're not limited to normal people, someone could conceivably wield A bfg under the system. The group that fights the monsters can endow people with powers. They can increase size (from man to pony to horse to rhino, in size) They can grosly increase durability and strength, and they can give people regeneration (the process isn't perfect) So, if you luck out and get enough of these in a single guy, a carbine-cannon isn't the worst thing you can give them (or a giant laser, for that matter)

Also, I did have a good look at force when i set up weapon tables to decide on where guns go. Yeah, .50BMG laughs at 5.56, so 20mm should be great and 30mm should solve almost all problems... but I don't know enough about kickback. 20mm should be doable, but if I had numbers I could write up minimum requirements, 30mm I think is very likely possible, if restrictive. 40mm... Well it's fun to have a dream. some 40mm guns look small enough to be wielded by some of the characters I have in mind.

The world is somewhat satiric, so if you need to loose an arm firing a too-big gun to kill a monster, it totally works. Helps to have regen though.

Right what your thinking of isn't special ops really, it's more a specialist regiment like the parachute regiment, that changes the expendability factor some. ot xcompletly but some.

That said the thing you have to understand is that the main problem with a big gun isn't strength, it's pure raw mass, up to a point strength helps with recoil, but thats more in letting you maintain the correct stance, not getting knocked over when you pull the trigger. You remember the predator movie with arnold schwarzenegger carting around the minigun? They where firing blanks out of that a 1/6th it;s normal rate of fire which cuts the recoil hugely. He still needed 2 people stood behind him bracing him to handle the recoil it kicked up. Even a simpel 20mm cannon laughs at that levle of recoil.

Technically speaking you can;t really fire an M240 from the shoulder on continuous automatic fire, but you can do it if you fire short sharp bursts and it;s a good upper end automatic weapon that actually exists.

If we assume a 90kg soldier with 20kg of jit that gives him a recoil compensating mass of 110kg's

An M240 fires a 10 gram bullet at 833 m/s. hat means the moment of inertia of each round is equal to (10/1000)*8333. I.e. it;s weight in KG's times it's muzzle velocity in meter's per second. An M240 fiore 1 of them per second, (for most scientific purposes amount of something in a second is pretty important for sustained stuff. That means the total momentum generated is (10/1000)*833*12 = 99.96. Les call that a straight 100, it's easier. Now as a result of various physical laws, if you throw X amount of matter away with a total momentum of N, you will be thrown in the opposite direction with an equal amount of momentum. If you know your own mass Y you can thus find out how fast the throwing will attempt to send you flying backwards at, it;s this attempt to send you sailing rearwards that causes the experience of feeling recoil.

In our example we have momentum 1000 and soldier mass of 110, that means he experiences a rearward velocity of 0.91 meters per second.

It's not a perfect representation of recoil but it's an acceptable approximation.


Now lets go with a decent sized cannon. Lets say we use the german MK108 30mm cannon f WW2 vintage, (don't let the age fool you, it would be a solid cannon today on most AFV's), it fires 10 rounds per second, each weighing 330 grams at 540 meters per second. Thats a momentum of 1782. If we use out 0.91 figure from earlier as the maximum allowable rearward momentum we get a value of 1958kg's for the wieldier to cope with it, of that 58 kg's would be the gun and if we use our soldier from earlier by weight 18.18% of his mass was equipment which laves our prospective soldier with another 300kg's of gear he can carry. But that still means he weighs a base of approximately 1600kg's. (3600lb's). Even assuming thats possible, (and thats bloody heavy, a rhino averages 1150kg's, or 2600lb's), the sheer size is going to make a lot of terrain off limits, they could go into any building with a absent or walk on an upper story and any kind of soft or confined terrain, (caves, dense forest, twisty canons, e.t.c.), is also going to be off limits.

If you can i recommend getting down to your local library and seeing if you can get your hands on a copy of Brief Cases by Jim Butcher, it's only recently out so you may need to reserve in advance, the story you want is Even Hand, it's a great example of how normal humans with a bit of magical help could realistically take on big super powered nasties that can eat all kinds of horrible stuff. For that mater the entire Dresden Files is full of that sort of thing.

The Jack
2018-07-25, 01:11 PM
I too, hate the gnomes, I don't think it's a very rational dislike, but they're as bad as elves for me, and elves are bad.
As for the coal, well, I did say take the land of the gnomes to take advantage of the infastructure already built, but, well, i was honestly thinking they could just power the things with a magical source of energy, since they did cross the expanse of space somehow, and I don't think they would've done it with coal.

Oh, people moved to oil by the first world war; still a less likely fuel for traveling the cosmos than magic.

It's clearly a crazy setting, it lacks Slavs of any sort and the main draw is the implausibly different tech levels and invading army of women in uniform... I kinda want to play it...

Mail can be beaten with impact weapons like maces, tapered stabbing weapons like spears, and spike hammers. Just don't slash, or if you do slash, go for the non-mail portions (they shouldn't wear full mail) Arrows are bad, pistol rounds will probably fail to go through, but rifles/machineguns will go right through. Spears are great, daggers and swords need a few adjustments to be better for mail. Most of the cultures you've got will have mail, though to most of them it's expensive and only the rich'll have it.. Rome, japan and the dwarves likely have easier access to it.

Cristo Meyers
2018-07-25, 01:37 PM
This has been a fascinating discussion. Thank you so much for all your help!

@Cristo Meyers: Sounds like the island nations are completely out of luck between the blitz and the enormous naval discrepancy. Zounah wouldn't have an issue using guerrilla warfare once they figured out a straight up fight won't work too well. They've got the manpower and definitely amoral enough to prioritize casualties. Politically speaking, Al-Hassan would be the one most likely to form a coalition with the other nations. Any combination in particular that would be good to counter the Ragesians?


Even without the naval discrepancy, the islands are going to be a very tempting target. Just the logistical challenges of ferrying a force from the mainland out that's capable of challenging the invaders is going to keep a lot of nations from being able to do anything.

There's not really a hard counter in the situation you've got set up. The Ragnesians are going to be fighting resource shortages more than the other nations. I think the dwarves and gnomes are going to be key to any alliance. The dwarves are the only ones that have weaponry even approaching turn-of-the-20th and the gnomes the infrastructure to maintain and supply it. Though they're still not going to be doing any kind of open battle. The other nations can offer manpower, but with the tech discrepancy not much else unless we're getting into stuff like magic. Whichever island isn't blitzed is going to be looking for partners really quickly.

A lot is going to depend on how much and what kind of war machine the Ragnesians are coming in with. If all they're bringing in at the start are large groups of infantry (for whatever reason), then it's not going to be as bad as if they're coming in with armored divisions, naval cruisers, and WW1-era bombers. But 'not as bad' isn't a particularly high bar, here. It's not quite Spearman vs Tank (tm), but it's close.

The Jack
2018-07-25, 01:59 PM
Yes, yes. Don't tell me why i shouldn't do something, tell me how I could do it! Appeal to mankind's love of big men with big guns, of our inborn wants to be with the pointiest stick. Excess is excellent.

20mm guns are man portable, nobody shoots them standing, but evidently, they are man portable. 14.5's are the same story.
A 30mm gun can be 100kg. Given the crazy strength of some characters in the the setting, we can increase the weight further to reduce recoil (right?) or just give it to the guy who'll bounce back after firing it. How do we do it, and what would be the costs, since I kinda need to write up rules for these things...

SleepyShadow
2018-07-25, 02:09 PM
I too, hate the gnomes, I don't think it's a very rational dislike, but they're as bad as elves for me, and elves are bad.
As for the coal, well, I did say take the land of the gnomes to take advantage of the infastructure already built, but, well, i was honestly thinking they could just power the things with a magical source of energy, since they did cross the expanse of space somehow, and I don't think they would've done it with coal.

Oh, people moved to oil by the first world war; still a less likely fuel for traveling the cosmos than magic.

It's clearly a crazy setting, it lacks Slavs of any sort and the main draw is the implausibly different tech levels and invading army of women in uniform... I kinda want to play it...

I know, it's definitely a zany set-up. It's an old campaign setting all my players were already familiar with and invested in, so it seemed the perfect place to unleash the Ragesians on :smalltongue:


Even without the naval discrepancy, the islands are going to be a very tempting target. Just the logistical challenges of ferrying a force from the mainland out that's capable of challenging the invaders is going to keep a lot of nations from being able to do anything.

There's not really a hard counter in the situation you've got set up. The Ragnesians are going to be fighting resource shortages more than the other nations. I think the dwarves and gnomes are going to be key to any alliance. The dwarves are the only ones that have weaponry even approaching turn-of-the-20th and the gnomes the infrastructure to maintain and supply it. Though they're still not going to be doing any kind of open battle. The other nations can offer manpower, but with the tech discrepancy not much else unless we're getting into stuff like magic. Whichever island isn't blitzed is going to be looking for partners really quickly.

A lot is going to depend on how much and what kind of war machine the Ragnesians are coming in with. If all they're bringing in at the start are large groups of infantry (for whatever reason), then it's not going to be as bad as if they're coming in with armored divisions, naval cruisers, and WW1-era bombers. But 'not as bad' isn't a particularly high bar, here. It's not quite Spearman vs Tank (tm), but it's close.
The Ragesians are bringing their full firepower against whichever island they start on. They don't have a lot of time or resources to waste. They need to bring the island under control quickly and start moving their civilians in ASAP.

Cristo Meyers
2018-07-25, 02:50 PM
The Ragesians are bringing their full firepower against whichever island they start on. They don't have a lot of time or resources to waste. They need to bring the island under control quickly and start moving their civilians in ASAP.

Then their biggest concern is going to be resources. Like the others said: you're looking at a lot of fuel and materials to keep those ships running and the world they're invading isn't going to have the infrastructure to manufacture it.

They're going to have to make a tactical choice at the outset: one of the islands is going to likely fall quick and have the benefits of natural defenses, but they're going to need to develop the infrastructure quick nearly from scratch to keep their war machine running. The gnomes or dwarves are more likely to have at least some level of developed infrastructure already in place, but now you're talking about both the risk of a longer conflict and having to deal with all of the other nations being right there.

One is a relatively quick conquest that runs up against scarcity, the other has less risk of that but is going to require either more military might or a deft political hand.

Story-wise, either one works, really.

Epimethee
2018-07-25, 03:07 PM
Good job Brother Oni!

Also, under the umbrella of the ships, the land artillery would be safe to bring mayhem even further. Build a fortress inside those 25 miles, then a huge naval battery, and so on for the forceable future. The guns would more or less be able to put an iron grid upon the world and the zeppelin would ensure safe transfer for the military personnel.

What can other do? On a military confrontation almost nothing: organized armies stand no chance, a few planes, some machine-guns and trucks and nomads are cornered and flattened.

They are in fact, to use some actual history as comparisons, defeats from the colonial powers, as late as 1921 and the Spanish defeat of Anoual agains And el-Krim in Morocco or Adoua, the famous victory of Menelik against Italians. But, as much as amazing commanders, those victory relies on the colonial power making huge strategical or tactical mistakes, as Isandhlwana and Rorke's Drift show clearly.

The dwarves would seem tougher, as the underground structures are mostly immune to guns. That's not so much of a problem if the Ragesians are willing to use gas. Without that, a war would stall in underground battle, a lot of small scale fights likely to be costly.

As noted by Brother Oni, the problems are more operational that tactical or strategical. I include in that the administration of your new subjects.

Measure can be taken to keep the main population of Ragesia together, and thus preserving the unity and technological advance. I would concentrate them on a few islands first, well defended and where the main production take place.

Supplies are a problem of production and management. The transport by sea would be more than safe and inland, trucks and machine gun prevent most of asymmetrical warfare. The sheer speed of my vehicles is too fast for most of the troops and a few planes may make an ambush almost impossible. Against guerrilla, I would be careful to always go in force, never less than a few hundreds and never without vehicles and support.

Also, with my fortress and zeppelins, I could stay above the general population really easily.

So the main problem is ruling. That's why organized empires are the main target, the more able to go rapidly to a kind of economy that can support the industry of the ragesian and the easiest to administrate.

As much as I like the insight of Cristo Meyers, and agree against the principal foe of Ragesia, the ressources, I think it is not clear that the other power would ally before it is too late.

Cristo Meyers
2018-07-25, 03:22 PM
As much as I like the insight of Cristo Meyers, and agree against the principal foe of Ragesia, the ressources, I think it is not clear that the other power would ally before it is too late.

True, I'm probably letting my story-brain take the wheel a little too much. That's what I was getting at when I mentioned potentially needing a deft political hand. Consolidating Ragesia's hold on their conquered territory is going to require keeping the other nations from all deciding Ragesia is an existential threat to them.

I think the sudden arrival of an advanced invading force that is intent on both conquest and subjugation is going to be a big impetus for the remaining powers to unite, but that's a bit overly simplistic and doesn't account for the internal political factors of the remaining powers. Two nations that are historical rivals are going to have a much harder time forming an alliance than others that are indifferent to each other. And if the nation seized is the proverbial 'black sheep' of the community, then it'll be even more difficult.

It's going to come down to what the other nations think is going to happen: do they think the Ragnesians are going to be content with the land the alpha-strike seizes or do they think the Ragnesians are going to come for more? I'm a bit more inclined to the latter, since we've been told Ragesia isn't interested in alliances at the outset and a sudden arrival from a conquering force is going to cause a lot of panic in the international community.

Epimethee
2018-07-25, 03:40 PM
They may be tempted to unite, or tempted to destroy the hated foe/conqueror/ don't know what reason they would have for that... As much as Ragesian are not interested in alliances, think of the effect of conquistadores on the Aztec confederation. As they played one power against another, they were greatly aided by the way every local was trying to further his own local ambitions, forgetting or not able to see the global consequences of the Spanish invasion.

That's why the strategic acumen of Ragesia is important. They may fight the same battle but I'm not sure they would be in the same war as the locals.

Carl
2018-07-25, 04:32 PM
Yes, yes. Don't tell me why i shouldn't do something, tell me how I could do it! Appeal to mankind's love of big men with big guns, of our inborn wants to be with the pointiest stick. Excess is excellent.

20mm guns are man portable, nobody shoots them standing, but evidently, they are man portable. 14.5's are the same story.
A 30mm gun can be 100kg. Given the crazy strength of some characters in the the setting, we can increase the weight further to reduce recoil (right?) or just give it to the guy who'll bounce back after firing it. How do we do it, and what would be the costs, since I kinda need to write up rules for these things...

The thing i'm trying to get across to you is that you can't. There's just no way to do it.

Here's the thing, if the weapon throws the guy around he'll never hit anything with it, because the barrel will have been thrown off target by the recoil before the round leaves the barrel. And don;t take the fact that there are 20mm single shot rifles as indicative of anything, the 20mm anzio actually has less recoil momentum than an M240 in full ato. But because it delivers that momentum in one big chunk in a single shot it exerts more absolute force on the human firing it which means they can;t hold it on target and it;s going to do damage to their skeleton and flesh, a superhumanly tough and strong person probably could fire it from the shoulder. But there's no point. a 40mm Grenade is going to do more damage and you can fire a multi-shot model from the should with a normal human and with a much higher RoF and handiness. The reason things like 50 cal rifles exist is because a grenade launcher has a range of several hundred meters, a 50cal rifle can reach out to over a mile. But if your mostly firing in medium to close quarters you don;t need the range and a grenade launcher will allways beat out a cannon at that point.

I mean if your desperate to really get firepower onto the battlefield beyond a multi-shot man portable grenade launcher you've really got two choices. Fit something in the nose of an airborne drone or bite the bullet accept the consequences and start building miniature fission reactors to power power armour. In both cases you could then safley hand them drone/soldier somthing like a Mk19 Grenade Machinegun (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mk_19_grenade_launcher), (no way even a strong person is shoulder firing that, recoil again), but in both cases your going to have issues with building interious, Power armour with properly designed overlarge feet will handle soft gorund and tight quarters better than a rhino sized man, but whatever he's walking on has to be able to handle the structural load as well as the ground pressure.

The only other way your going to d it is to outright cancel out the ecil somehow, but if you can do that you cna do so many other things.

I don't want to get into details because where talking your question here but i actually gave this exact question a LOT of thought for my EFGT setting, (i was originally going to try to do a tabletop battle game system off it, but that fell apart so not sure what i'm going to do with it yet), and i've used a whole slew of answers. But only the purifiers weaponry really falls into the man portable cannon, but they've got so much magic in their gear, (and are so freaking scarce), that they able to basically completely ignore physics on a routine basis.

Because thats what you have to do to get that level of recoil into play, outright ignore physics, you can't make somthing man portable, (beyond the tripod level), with that kind of kick within the laws of physics.

SleepyShadow
2018-07-25, 05:31 PM
True, I'm probably letting my story-brain take the wheel a little too much. That's what I was getting at when I mentioned potentially needing a deft political hand. Consolidating Ragesia's hold on their conquered territory is going to require keeping the other nations from all deciding Ragesia is an existential threat to them.

I think the sudden arrival of an advanced invading force that is intent on both conquest and subjugation is going to be a big impetus for the remaining powers to unite, but that's a bit overly simplistic and doesn't account for the internal political factors of the remaining powers. Two nations that are historical rivals are going to have a much harder time forming an alliance than others that are indifferent to each other. And if the nation seized is the proverbial 'black sheep' of the community, then it'll be even more difficult.

It's going to come down to what the other nations think is going to happen: do they think the Ragnesians are going to be content with the land the alpha-strike seizes or do they think the Ragnesians are going to come for more? I'm a bit more inclined to the latter, since we've been told Ragesia isn't interested in alliances at the outset and a sudden arrival from a conquering force is going to cause a lot of panic in the international community.

Don't worry, I get caught up in the storytelling too. Sterich and Al-Hassan are going to be difficult to bring into an alliance with Zounah, since all three countries have warred with each other multiple times at some point or another. The smaller nations would be easier to convince into an alliance, if for nothing more than self preservation. Still, I suppose global war makes for strange bedfellows.


They may be tempted to unite, or tempted to destroy the hated foe/conqueror/ don't know what reason they would have for that... As much as Ragesian are not interested in alliances, think of the effect of conquistadores on the Aztec confederation. As they played one power against another, they were greatly aided by the way every local was trying to further his own local ambitions, forgetting or not able to see the global consequences of the Spanish invasion.

That's why the strategic acumen of Ragesia is important. They may fight the same battle but I'm not sure they would be in the same war as the locals.
That's a really good point. I hadn't thought about the Ragesians just playing the other countries against each other and picking off the victors. Such a strategy would help to take the burden off their own resources.

Mr Beer
2018-07-25, 06:05 PM
Yes, yes. Don't tell me why i shouldn't do something, tell me how I could do it! Appeal to mankind's love of big men with big guns, of our inborn wants to be with the pointiest stick. Excess is excellent.

Grenade launchers, RPGs and missiles. Your strong troops can carry plenty of these heavy weapon systems and recoil is no issue.

Maybe some kind of automatic grenade launcher would be good? Low recoil, absurd firepower.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mk_19_grenade_launcher

No-one can say that's not over the top for a soldier to run around with.

The Jack
2018-07-25, 06:10 PM
Because thats what you have to do to get that level of recoil into play, outright ignore physics, you can't make somthing man portable, (beyond the tripod level), with that kind of kick within the laws of physics.

Thing is, we're talking about characters that can take more than a tripod. They're bigger, can spread out more, and absorb more shock. Stop thinking in terms of normal humans. All I need is data.
(also, there's one power in the setting which protects by allowing the target to treat offending energy as less than it is.)

second, can't you just make something heavier to negate the recoil?


Last; Are grenade launchers truly greater in destructive force than cannons? Ignore that they're wider spreading; On a point, do they inflict more force?

Mr Beer
2018-07-25, 06:18 PM
I suppose the follow-up question is what could the other countries do to prevent themselves from being taken over?

Avoid any kind of pitched battle, especially naval battles. Pretty much never attack any position where the enemy has a clear field of fire on you. WWI rifles are enough to break most plausible attacks, WWI machine guns will destroy you. Do a lot of retreating and keep your forces spread out because WWI artillery can wipe you out from miles away.

Fighting should be guerrilla-style, in broken terrain (no mechanised support for the Ragesians) or covered with forests or bad weather (no air support) or preferably both.

Focus attacks on supplies, especially fuel. But don't neglect the value of killing or maiming one enemy, if they cannot be replaced. That includes every enemy because of the lack of backups. Kill enough cooks and clerks and they have to take someone off the front line to feed people and maintain records.

Sabotage is an attack - food and fuel spoilage, poison and spreading disease are very valid tools. Especially diseases, WWI tech is not strong vs. disease.

Retreat coupled with scorched earth tactics to deny supplies could be effective. Leave partisan groups behind with hidden caches of supplies.

Traditional strongholds are virtually useless against artillery and airpower. Go underground, Vietcong style. Don't forget to create airlocks, because no-one wants their underground fortress filled up with chlorine gas.

Leverage talents that cannot be countered with WWI tech. For example, can any of the native races see in the dark? Good because night vision goggles don't exist in WWI. Send in your night raiders to cause mayhem - set fire to a fuel dump as a distraction while the other team raids a command tent in order to murder some irreplaceable officers for example.

EDIT

While not exactly analogous, if you want to know what a prolonged war looks like with a seemingly unstoppable enemy vs. a retreating but determined foe, read some accounts of the Eastern Front in WWII. It should give you some authentically grim background details you can scatter in if you want to add an air of verisimilitude to the whole thing.

Brother Oni
2018-07-25, 07:20 PM
While not exactly analogous, if you want to know what a prolonged war looks like with a seemingly unstoppable enemy vs. a retreating but determined foe, read some accounts of the Eastern Front in WWII. It should give you some authentically grim background details you can scatter in if you want to add an air of verisimilitude to the whole thing.

For an even more brutal account, the Second Sino-Japanese War, particularly after the Chinese went into full attrition mode playing for time for the Allies to come to their aid, is also another authentic read. Whether the Ragesians start committing systematic atrocities on the level of the IJA's Burn to Ash Strategy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Alls_Policy) as retribution for resistance by the indigenous peoples, depends entirely on whether SleepyShadow wants to go that far for a game.

Cristo Meyers
2018-07-25, 07:34 PM
Whether the Ragesians start committing systematic atrocities on the level of the IJA's Burn to Ash Strategy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Alls_Policy) as retribution for resistance by the indigenous peoples, depends entirely on whether SleepyShadow wants to go that far for a game.

Yeah, that's another question they're going to have to answer: what about the natives? If this is a 'conquer and subjugate' sort of thing then the tactics are going to be pretty different than if they're doing their best Dalek impression and attempting to Ex-ter-min-ate!

A massive, but quick show of force might be enough in the former. But the latter? That's a whole other atrocity.

Kader
2018-07-25, 08:29 PM
I suppose the follow-up question is what could the other countries do to prevent themselves from being taken over?

If I were the ruler of a polity facing a rival with such an enormous technological advantage I would likely be looking at signing a protectorate type deal as my most attractive option.

Even the gnomes would labor against a technological advantage that is is substantially greater than the advantage enjoyed by the British in their wars in India or the Spanish in the New World or the Italians in Ethiopia when they beat the Ethiopians in the second go around in the thirties (the Ethiopians had rifles and machine guns, even if it was a motley array of mostly older model stuff).

The rest of the nations are much worse off than that.

Now, there may be political reasons why a protectorate relationship is unattractive. It depends in part on how the invaders comport themselves, whether they are open to such things. Maybe the invaders are just intolerably evil, or maybe they've already cut a deal with your worst enemies and so that road is closed.

Or maybe you just not that kind of ruler/nation.

In that case, all the guerilla warfare type advice upthread is good (it's still a tall order, though, especially since you won't have any rival superpower feeding your guerillas supplies and weapons). Expect to lose conventional governmental control over your land and to be driven out of coastal regions and prosperous farmlands, and commit to being guerilla scraping out a sad living in marginal territory in the back woods or mountains while you try to wear the invader down.

Try to make friends in the invading society. Find a few dissidents, black-market smugglers, corrupt officials, lonely noble ladies (there's got to be some in a 9/10ths female society... send your charmingest bards! :P ) etc., and try to get your hands on some of their stuff. It'll help a lot if you realize your situation immediately and completely commit to guerilla warfare on Day 1 (and do things like lay in supplies in remote hideaways, empty your treasury and hide the contents so the invaders can't seize it and you'll still have things to trade later, etc.), but most governments don't act that way in practice and the first targets definitely won't.

Take advantage of areas where you're at parity or even advantage rather than at disadvantage. Night sight if you're that kind of race, magic, maybe look for offworlder or even planar allies of your own.

Just don't forget that guerillas can get worn down too.

If all else fails, wait it out for a few generations and launch an uprising after the high tech has had time to naturally spread the way that technology tends to do when societies come into closer contact.

SleepyShadow
2018-07-26, 01:26 AM
Yeah, that's another question they're going to have to answer: what about the natives? If this is a 'conquer and subjugate' sort of thing then the tactics are going to be pretty different than if they're doing their best Dalek impression and attempting to Ex-ter-min-ate!

A massive, but quick show of force might be enough in the former. But the latter? That's a whole other atrocity.

Definitely a conquer and subjugate plan. After a horrific experience going to war against a different group of players and their mercenary army in a separate campaign, Ragesians have it stuck in their head that they need to maintain some semblance of a moral high ground. They don't want to do anything that irrevocably damages the land they claim, and they want to avoid doing anything that makes them look irredeemably evil. After all, they won their last war simply by not being as ruthless as the old PCs and making them look bad.

wolflance
2018-07-26, 01:46 AM
A quick question: Are medieval greaves and sabatons (of transitional armor ~ 16th century full plate) designed to be worn over boots? In particular riding boots.

Most artworks of knights in under-armor as well as "how to wear plate armor" demo videos depicts the knights wearing shoes instead of boots (as well as rather form-fitting pants/hoses), so I presume that it can't, but I asked anyway just to be extra sure.

Brother Oni
2018-07-26, 02:50 AM
lonely noble ladies (there's got to be some in a 9/10ths female society... send your charmingest bards! :P ) etc., and try to get your hands on some of their stuff.

Given that it's a matriarchal society and nearly all the military are female, any attempt to charm the lonely ladies may well turn into a death by snu snu situation. :smalltongue:

That said, getting your hands on their equipment is of limited use if you can't make the ammunition and while you can muddle your way around small arms, any motorised vehicles would be of limited use and definitely ships and aircraft would be off limits without specialised training.


Definitely a conquer and subjugate plan. After a horrific experience going to war against a different group of players and their mercenary army in a separate campaign, Ragesians have it stuck in their head that they need to maintain some semblance of a moral high ground. They don't want to do anything that irrevocably damages the land they claim, and they want to avoid doing anything that makes them look irredeemably evil. After all, they won their last war simply by not being as ruthless as the old PCs and making them look bad.

In that case, they would most likely look for a casus belli and not blitz an island out of the blue. How about this scenario: assuming a common language, a Ragesian diplomatic party rocks up to the island nation and begs for help, claiming that they're refugees and need substantial amounts of land.

If the island nation agrees, Ragesians start landing and fortifying. They start integrating with the natives (all those lonely uniformed ladies with martial prowess... hoo boy :smallwink:), and if possible infiltrate and take over the island nation by cultural domination.

If the island nation refuses or they cannot communicate or relationships break down, deliver a notification of war ideally in a way that demonstrates their technological superiority (eg by air drop). If there's no common language, this could be in pictogram form.
The campaign should start by shock and awe (eg a walking artillery barrage stopping just short of the city gates) with minimal casualties. If they refuse to subjugate after that, then capture the island.

One of the bonuses of having a mostly female military should be that the population would be spared some of the worst excesses of warfare (ie raping), but that depends on troop discipline, what orders are in effect and the Ragesian culture.
Having an all female military to prevent the worst excesses of war was the primary reason for the formation of the Fish Speakers in the Dune setting, although I'm not qualified to say whether that's realistic or not. That said, there were Female Engagement Teams on the ground in Afghanistan for both winning hearts and minds and for HUMINT (human intelligence) purposes.

Edit: Somebody mentioned running the scenario more like Civilisation than Total War; I personally think running it more like Crusader Kings would be more optimal. :smalltongue:

Epimethee
2018-07-26, 07:26 AM
Don't get me wrong Mr Beer, I like the tactics you give here and I think they are the only way to go. But most are easily avoidable by taking the enemy seriously.

The customs of the locals may also be something to consider. I'm not sure that a culture of horse riding nomads could adapt to a modern guerrilla quickly enough not to be subjugated. Tactically it make sense but a warrior is seldom separated from his cultural and social background. (I don't want to go too much in real world politic but that's no accident if the so called citizens started the modern form of insurrection around the beginning of XIX century in the future United States, France and Spain, as if the new conception of the political subject had something to do with that...) If Ragesia act quickly, they would be able to use those social structures before they are totally crumbling.
That's another reason to go after the empires: they are even less likely to be able to change their tactics.

That's why, as much as I like what Kader said from a tactical standpoint, I think it is too strategically complicated for a lot of the local powers.

Here I think it is also where the new subjects come in play. As soon as they have them, Ragesia would be wise to use its power scarcely. Destroy a town or a fortress here, submit a city there...
Most of the conquering should be done by the locals. Ragesia should only commit his troops in huge number, in the most strategically important places and that's something the locals enable. Even vastly superior, the troops of Ragesia, and his peoples, are an invaluable resource.
That's also why I was thinking of separating the Ragesian fro the main population. They would be wise to play the ever-present but unreachable power.

As I said, I would use strongholds to materialize my power as Ragesia. No ruler in the world as described seem to need to shake hands and kiss babies to win the next election. Ragesia could rule from above, coupling the impressive view of the fortress with the new technologies that better the life of the peoples and a potentially huge propaganda machine.

As an aside, the propaganda machine should not be underestimated: thousand and thousand of pages could be made in a few hours of work, with pictures and even colors, not to mention the cinema and the working principle of the radio, as the first station was built in 1914.
Oh, I wasn't thinking of wireless communication! Even more reasons to build your power upon a net of fortresses.

I like the way you see it also Brother Oni, and I think by modern standards it would be a good way to play it. But we are talking about "traditional" societies were the power is less individualized than in the modern world. As much as you need at some point the general goodwill of the population, that's not what define the legitimacy of your claim of power.
I think at first HUMINT would be less necessary than a kind of prestige campaign akin to what roman could do on a larger scale: Give them material goods, new roads, better commercial opportunities in a large area of peace and you don't need to mix with the population.
Protectorates are good, as you need the previous ruling class to administrate your new territories as much as the soldiers. As long as locals could gain power, that's usually easy to come by. Here a few weddings and promotions are in order, but I think at first they should be rare and really special: maybe the royals families or some heroes but nothing less than that. (Discounting some romantic scenario, classic, inevitable, but not the point here.)
The aim is to shape the myth of artesian superiority, to give something for the local to look at from below, at least for the duration of the war of conquest and the first steps of the administration of the new empire.





Fighting should be guerrilla-style, in broken terrain (no mechanised support for the Ragesians) or covered with forests or bad weather (no air support) or preferably both.


Quite right, but not possible on the scale of a continent. I think even Ragesia would expect a few remote parts, mountains or jungle, to be too difficult to attack. That's not a problem as long as most of the continent is conquered. As noted wisely by Kader, the guerrillas would stand mostly alone.
Without support, and notably also without organization, they are closer to small groups of bandits or isolated tribes. Organizing is important here: scattered groups around the world would be at most local problems and it would be difficult for them to even communicate.

Also by this point Ragesia would be able to use efficient counter-guerilla tactics in the most important parts of the world.



Focus attacks on supplies, especially fuel. But don't neglect the value of killing or maiming one enemy, if they cannot be replaced. That includes every enemy because of the lack of backups. Kill enough cooks and clerks and they have to take someone off the front line to feed people and maintain records.


I like that but... First that's why all Ragesian army should be huge and use locals to go on the remote parts of the world. They only need at first to broke the old powers, they don't need to plant their flag on every mountain. Take the cities, take the strategic points, let the grunt do the legwork. The glory they earn is free for you.

Then attacks on civilians are a two edged sword. As I said, it's another reason why ragesian would be wise to stay together in strongholds most of the time.
Then such actions could have political implications, depending also of the way Ragesia fight and see honor and the rules of war. It could be used to give them a casus belli, it could boost their moral, it could also be integrated to their propaganda machine. A lot of things are dependent of context, but I'm not sure every local would support such action.


Leave partisan groups behind with hidden caches of supplies.

Traditional strongholds are virtually useless against artillery and airpower. Go underground, Vietcong style. Don't forget to create airlocks, because no-one wants their underground fortress filled up with chlorine gas.


That's right, but that's also assuming a degree of operational acumen that I'm not sure the locals posses. Only the dwarves would have the technical ability at first to go underground.



Leverage talents that cannot be countered with WWI tech. For example, can any of the native races see in the dark? Good because night vision goggles don't exist in WWI. Send in your night raiders to cause mayhem - set fire to a fuel dump as a distraction while the other team raids a command tent in order to murder some irreplaceable officers for example.


I would argue that projectors and electric lightning should prevent that easily.

By this point, what most locals could aim for is the respect of the new power. Then we could go on the delicate subject of the relationship between the colonized and the colonial power. Something not to be taken lightly...

The Jack
2018-07-26, 09:00 AM
One big question though; The gnomes have steam, but are they industrial? how modern are their guns, because people have been using steam for mining since about 1600 , it was around 1700 for it to become a frequent mining tool and occasional wheel turner, and 1800 for the stuff to be common/used in transport. Firearm tech advanced hugely during this time. They could be using later muskets or precusion caps.


The dwarves, having early guns, are overestimated by most people here. Early guns were in many ways worse than crossbows, their main advantage being that they were absolutely terrifying and cause enemy soldiers to panic. They were inaccurate, short ranged, failed to penetrate good armour, were really slow to load, and would fail in bad weather. WW1 bolt actions could shoot tens of times before an early gun could get off another shot, and are in comparison, terrifyingly accurate. As great a craftsman dwarves are, they'd need to machine the parts for a bolt action and it's ammo, and that's a few hundred years ahead. Maybe with magic someone can copy and paste...

SleepyShadow
2018-07-26, 10:15 AM
In that case, they would most likely look for a casus belli and not blitz an island out of the blue. How about this scenario: assuming a common language, a Ragesian diplomatic party rocks up to the island nation and begs for help, claiming that they're refugees and need substantial amounts of land.

If the island nation agrees, Ragesians start landing and fortifying. They start integrating with the natives (all those lonely uniformed ladies with martial prowess... hoo boy :smallwink:), and if possible infiltrate and take over the island nation by cultural domination.

If the island nation refuses or they cannot communicate or relationships break down, deliver a notification of war ideally in a way that demonstrates their technological superiority (eg by air drop). If there's no common language, this could be in pictogram form.
The campaign should start by shock and awe (eg a walking artillery barrage stopping just short of the city gates) with minimal casualties. If they refuse to subjugate after that, then capture the island.

One of the bonuses of having a mostly female military should be that the population would be spared some of the worst excesses of warfare (ie raping), but that depends on troop discipline, what orders are in effect and the Ragesian culture.
Having an all female military to prevent the worst excesses of war was the primary reason for the formation of the Fish Speakers in the Dune setting, although I'm not qualified to say whether that's realistic or not. That said, there were Female Engagement Teams on the ground in Afghanistan for both winning hearts and minds and for HUMINT (human intelligence) purposes.

Edit: Somebody mentioned running the scenario more like Civilisation than Total War; I personally think running it more like Crusader Kings would be more optimal. :smalltongue:

This is a fantastic idea! Ken Kosuta would definitely be more pliable with pity than Thalos, and with a government easier to puppet if need be. Heck, Ken Kosuta is passively hostile toward most of the other countries already; they might just let Ragesia do their thing and ride the gravy train as far as it will take them. As for Ragesian troop discipline and culture, the basic idea is that they won't do anything they wouldn't want to happen to their own POWs. They don't want to encourage the enemy to do anything unseemly.


Don't get me wrong Mr Beer, I like the tactics you give here and I think they are the only way to go. But most are easily avoidable by taking the enemy seriously.

The customs of the locals may also be something to consider. I'm not sure that a culture of horse riding nomads could adapt to a modern guerrilla quickly enough not to be subjugated. Tactically it make sense but a warrior is seldom separated from his cultural and social background. (I don't want to go too much in real world politic but that's no accident if the so called citizens started the modern form of insurrection around the beginning of XIX century in the future United States, France and Spain, as if the new conception of the political subject had something to do with that...) If Ragesia act quickly, they would be able to use those social structures before they are totally crumbling.
That's another reason to go after the empires: they are even less likely to be able to change their tactics.

That's why, as much as I like what Kader said from a tactical standpoint, I think it is too strategically complicated for a lot of the local powers.

Here I think it is also where the new subjects come in play. As soon as they have them, Ragesia would be wise to use its power scarcely. Destroy a town or a fortress here, submit a city there...
Most of the conquering should be done by the locals. Ragesia should only commit his troops in huge number, in the most strategically important places and that's something the locals enable. Even vastly superior, the troops of Ragesia, and his peoples, are an invaluable resource.
That's also why I was thinking of separating the Ragesian fro the main population. They would be wise to play the ever-present but unreachable power.

As I said, I would use strongholds to materialize my power as Ragesia. No ruler in the world as described seem to need to shake hands and kiss babies to win the next election. Ragesia could rule from above, coupling the impressive view of the fortress with the new technologies that better the life of the peoples and a potentially huge propaganda machine.

As an aside, the propaganda machine should not be underestimated: thousand and thousand of pages could be made in a few hours of work, with pictures and even colors, not to mention the cinema and the working principle of the radio, as the first station was built in 1914.
Oh, I wasn't thinking of wireless communication! Even more reasons to build your power upon a net of fortresses.

I like the way you see it also Brother Oni, and I think by modern standards it would be a good way to play it. But we are talking about "traditional" societies were the power is less individualized than in the modern world. As much as you need at some point the general goodwill of the population, that's not what define the legitimacy of your claim of power.
I think at first HUMINT would be less necessary than a kind of prestige campaign akin to what roman could do on a larger scale: Give them material goods, new roads, better commercial opportunities in a large area of peace and you don't need to mix with the population.
Protectorates are good, as you need the previous ruling class to administrate your new territories as much as the soldiers. As long as locals could gain power, that's usually easy to come by. Here a few weddings and promotions are in order, but I think at first they should be rare and really special: maybe the royals families or some heroes but nothing less than that. (Discounting some romantic scenario, classic, inevitable, but not the point here.)
The aim is to shape the myth of artesian superiority, to give something for the local to look at from below, at least for the duration of the war of conquest and the first steps of the administration of the new empire.

Taking the enemy seriously is definitely a problem the Ragesians have had in the past, but they've learned from their mistakes. Also, you're absolutely right; not even the friendliest of countries in this scenario are democracies. Kissing babies is not required.

So after taking an island, focusing on the empires would be recommended because they're slower to change? I suppose that makes sense.

I hadn't thought of it before, but it's funny to think that propaganda, wireless communication, and promises of better lives for the subjugated people could be just as important to the war effort as dreadnaughts and biplanes.


One big question though; The gnomes have steam, but are they industrial? how modern are their guns, because people have been using steam for mining since about 1600 and for powering stuff, 1700 for it to become a frequent mining tool and occasional wheel turner, and 1800 for the stuff to be common/used in transport. Firearm tech advanced hugely during this time. They could be using later muskets or precusion caps.


The dwarves, having early guns, are overestimated by most people here. Early guns were in many ways worse than crossbows, their main advantage being that they were absolutely terrifying and cause enemy soldiers to panic. They were inaccurate, short ranged, failed to penetrate good armour, were really slow to load, and would fail in bad weather. WW1 bolt actions could shoot tens of times before an early gun could get off another shot, and are in comparison, terrifyingly accurate. As great a craftsman dwarves are, they'd need to machine the parts for a bolt action and it's ammo, and that's a few hundred years ahead. Maybe with magic someone can copy and paste...

The gnomes haven't been been focused on firearms or other weapons of war. Since they share borders with the two (current) world powers, they feel quite safe thinking that if one made a move on Meltis, the other would come to keep the invaders out. So the gnomes mainly focus on using steam for mining, powering machinery, and impressive looking gizmos and flimflam machines.

As for the dwarves, they use the arquebus guns for shock tactics. Fire a single volley to terrify the enemy, cause a rout and maybe kill a few (the short range isn't an issue since most of the dwarves' battles occur in tunnels and underground), then move in with polearms and battleaxes to mop up remaining enemy troops.

Epimethee
2018-07-26, 10:30 AM
Good point about the gnomes, The Jack.

About the dwarves, I think the underground cities are the most important problem, and the reason it would be the tougher adversary to submit. All the possibilities of asymmetric warfare are multiplied by a setting that prohibit any kind of bombardment.

Even then, as can be shown by the shocktruppen and the British tactics of late WWI, the Ragesians would have refined means of assault: coordinated suppressive fire, combat engineer, mines and other explosives devices...

But again, all this is really dependent of the strategical landscape, here in the sense of the political breaking point of the locals. As said by many, a show of force may be enough to submit a lot of places and Ragesia would be well advised to fight mostly those wars first and proceed to a ragesification as soon as possible. This is more or less inevitable, as Ragesia is the far more dominant cultural and technological powers so the locals would mostly be drawn into their orbit.
This process could be really interesting, as it would be varied across the world and reflecting the relationship between Ragesia and the other more or less submitted powers.

Take the case of the dwarves: Ragesia could be well with taking only the coastal part of the land, forcing the dwarves to deal with them for everything related to commerce. Ragesia would never attack the core cities but use this to slowly increase its cultural power. The dwarves could play it like the maoris: by staying mostly strong and trying to assert their specificities, they could be able to keep their cultural identity. The could also choose the path of Japan: change to the new ways as soon as possible and roughly willingly. But they are worst options: the case of Imperial China, unable to admit the change provoked by the European powers and brutally changed for the worst may be interesting to consider.

It really depend of each society: in the non-greece part of the world, I may be tempted to use a kind of chamber to support the sense of local politics, like an administrative senate with limited powers.
If the non-vikings have something close to the Althing, I would also play with that.
As said before, the cultural weight of Ragesia would be amazing and education would be a true interest for a lot of locals. As much as a mean of indoctrination, this could also be a way to balance the ideology of Ragesia with the realities of a political expansion, if you take a page out of the paternalist justification of some of the European powers.

I really think that in this case the social changes provoked by the arrival of Ragesia are the most interesting part to play as the war would mostly be the background where they assert their superiority.

Epimethee
2018-07-26, 10:50 AM
@SleepyShadow: European metals tools were present in Polynesia before the europeans, as were pipes in Africa. The effect of a power so wildly superior are disrupting not only on the military side of things but also on a cultural and social point of view. Also traditional economy could be totally changed in a matter of a few generations, with huge consequences for every society. The big guns make the impact clearer but that's like the proverbial iceberg!

And about empire you have two cases: as illustrated by the Aztecs, an empire may lay upon fragile alliances easy to destroy. As shown by imperial Japan, you may have a relatively centralized society.
But the more a society is administered, the slower some of the necessary changes would come, as they depend of this administration. As such, it is easier to identify where to put the pressure and to make the empire break, if military power is not a problem.

Finally, I think the war is mostly for the Ragesian to lose.

Brother Oni
2018-07-26, 03:31 PM
I like the way you see it also Brother Oni, and I think by modern standards it would be a good way to play it. But we are talking about "traditional" societies were the power is less individualized than in the modern world. As much as you need at some point the general goodwill of the population, that's not what define the legitimacy of your claim of power.

I was thinking more about the Ragesians keeping some semblance of the moral high ground and assuaging their own guilt / justifying a conquest to their own people.

Speaking about the not-Japanese in particular and assuming they're similar to the real Edo period, if I were to co-op their chain of command into legitimising Ragesian rule, I'd aim for the post of Shogun - that would grant you the control of the ruling caste. If I wanted to work it the other way and start from the peasants upwards to force the ruling caste to change, I'd get the Emperor to marry a Ragesian and therefore any descendants would have his divine right to rule (with a couple of quiet political manoeuverings to ensure that the half Ragesian ends up the heir apparent).

If I were being particularly sneaky about it, I'd see whether the Ragesian religion could be inserted into the not-Japanese religion. While I wouldn't go for the straight copy/paste/re-label of the Romans, selling the Ragesians as the long returned children of a deity (I'm thinking either Susano-no-miko or maybe Fujin/Raijin) would help their acceptability to the not-Japanese. In the real Far East, there was a push to help national pride by associating people of a country with a particular spirit animal - for example, the Chinese were the descendants of dragons, while the Mongolians were the Children of the Wolf (I forget who the other countries were).

Alternately, copy the Mongols again and simply execute all of the ruling caste and tell the common folk and the administrators "Carry on as normal, except you pay your taxes to us now".


This is a fantastic idea! Ken Kosuta would definitely be more pliable with pity than Thalos, and with a government easier to puppet if need be. Heck, Ken Kosuta is passively hostile toward most of the other countries already; they might just let Ragesia do their thing and ride the gravy train as far as it will take them. As for Ragesian troop discipline and culture, the basic idea is that they won't do anything they wouldn't want to happen to their own POWs. They don't want to encourage the enemy to do anything unseemly.

As Epimethee said, the improvements offered by the Ragesians would help immensely.

Given good discipline and a focus on duty and civic purpose, the Ragesians would fit right with in the not-Japanese. Depending on exactly which time period of feudal Japan (Sengoku or early Edo at the latest), you'd have a good mix of professional soldiers that would be easily trained in Ragesian warfare (samurai deppo units fought as independent skirmishers) and less trained soldiers that could be easily led (ashigaru).

The Jack
2018-07-26, 03:49 PM
I need to know more about grenade launchers. Specifically, what kind of damage they can do to a point, what kind of force can they offload in a shrapnel, especially in comparison to bullets. I'm not using a very accurate system for modeling such things. but it'd be of interest.

40x53
40x46
35x32 (chinese, i believe these are supposed to be penetrative)


Are launched grenades comparable to thrown grenades compared to power? I've got this absolutely puzzling bastard of a system. M20 (an absolute mess of a book) believes that
Frag grenades are 12 dice
40x53's are 8
40x43 are 6
And there's nothing for the chinese grenade, but there was a gun that did exploding rounds (6)
In addition, I'm not even sure if I'm supposed to treat the 8/6 like an explosion, or if I'm supposed to treat the 8/6 as a direct hit and the 12 as an additional explosion. What sounds right?
Rocket launchers are listed as 12-16 under firearms and 10-15 under explosives... but the book was written by a thousand freelancers and clearly edited by morons so I don't think that's really an argument. All explosives are written to loose a die every 10' from the source and get cut off at some point (IE, the frag goes down to 9, a concusion grenade goes from 8 to 5...) M20 was largely written by idiots... but I'm not sure if there are any other oWoD books that've tried to do explosives.

For comparison, bullets are (4 dice- 9mm, 7 dice- 5.56, 12 dice for 30.06*, 16 dice for .50bmg )

(sometimes, they list 30.06 for 8 dice, I think it's because they think all rifles are the same, or maybe it's to go with the 1-5 armour system. I don't agree with it either way)

Gnoman
2018-07-26, 04:17 PM
At a quick check of relevant manuals, the ammunition for the M203 is effectively the same as a basic frag grenade. Dual purpose rounds can penetrate 2" of steel.

I'm not finding detailed information on the Russan and Chinese grenades, but the Russian ones have a very similar mass and explosive charge, and the Chinese ones have less.



All come in a variety of types for different targets, some optimized for area effect and others for penetration.



You might want to consider consulting GURPS even if you don't want to change systems. SJG puts a great deal of work into getting their stats right, and it is very useful as a guide to relative performance.

Mr Beer
2018-07-26, 05:05 PM
You might want to consider consulting GURPS even if you don't want to change systems. SJG puts a great deal of work into getting their stats right, and it is very useful as a guide to relative performance.

This

GURPS 4e High Tech and supplements thereof will be useful to this project, as well as potentially Ultra Tech.

snowblizz
2018-07-26, 05:44 PM
Edit: Somebody mentioned running the scenario more like Civilisation than Total War; I personally think running it more like Crusader Kings would be more optimal. :smalltongue:

Godawfully tedious and you have to struggle with understand what the point of duchies is. And then the kings die in disease with 2 month intervals and you lose control of your kingdom. If I was a Ragesian (SP?) I'd rather just kill them all and let whoever they pray to sort them out.

Carl
2018-07-26, 06:08 PM
Thing is, we're talking about characters that can take more than a tripod. They're bigger, can spread out more, and absorb more shock. Stop thinking in terms of normal humans. All I need is data.
(also, there's one power in the setting which protects by allowing the target to treat offending energy as less than it is.)

second, can't you just make something heavier to negate the recoil?


Last; Are grenade launchers truly greater in destructive force than cannons? Ignore that they're wider spreading; On a point, do they inflict more force?


Given that it's a matriarchal society and nearly all the military are female, any attempt to charm the lonely ladies may well turn into a death by snu snu situation. :smalltongue:

That said, getting your hands on their equipment is of limited use if you can't make the ammunition and while you can muddle your way around small arms, any motorised vehicles would be of limited use and definitely ships and aircraft would be off limits without specialised training.



In that case, they would most likely look for a casus belli and not blitz an island out of the blue. How about this scenario: assuming a common language, a Ragesian diplomatic party rocks up to the island nation and begs for help, claiming that they're refugees and need substantial amounts of land.

If the island nation agrees, Ragesians start landing and fortifying. They start integrating with the natives (all those lonely uniformed ladies with martial prowess... hoo boy :smallwink:), and if possible infiltrate and take over the island nation by cultural domination.

If the island nation refuses or they cannot communicate or relationships break down, deliver a notification of war ideally in a way that demonstrates their technological superiority (eg by air drop). If there's no common language, this could be in pictogram form.
The campaign should start by shock and awe (eg a walking artillery barrage stopping just short of the city gates) with minimal casualties. If they refuse to subjugate after that, then capture the island.

One of the bonuses of having a mostly female military should be that the population would be spared some of the worst excesses of warfare (ie raping), but that depends on troop discipline, what orders are in effect and the Ragesian culture.
Having an all female military to prevent the worst excesses of war was the primary reason for the formation of the Fish Speakers in the Dune setting, although I'm not qualified to say whether that's realistic or not. That said, there were Female Engagement Teams on the ground in Afghanistan for both winning hearts and minds and for HUMINT (human intelligence) purposes.

Edit: Somebody mentioned running the scenario more like Civilisation than Total War; I personally think running it more like Crusader Kings would be more optimal. :smalltongue:

Not sure when i'll get to finish this but let me cover somthing important.

There's really two forms of recoil. Apparent recoil, (proper technical term), and what for the purposes of this discussion i'm going to call Absolute Recoil, (not sure on the precise technical term). For basically all handheld firearms when you see recoil discussed what people are talking about is apparent recoil. The thing about apparent recoil is that for normal humans it can cause problems with keeping the gun on target or even causing physical damage long before absolut recoil is an issue. the shoulder can only handle so much force and a good grip can only compensate for so much force. Apparent recoil is absolutely 100% effected by the weight of the weapon. I don;t want to turn this into science 101 again, but the short version is that the but pad is often compressible, your flesh is always compressible and your bones and joints can flex too. As a result every time you fire a round the weapon is throw backwards against your shoulder and is effectively able to recoil several millimeters each time. It's over this recoil distance that the momentum imparted to the gun by the round is transferred to the shooter. The faster the rewarward velocity the less time it'[s transferred over and the higher the force felt by the shooter.And as we established in a previous science 101 more mass for the same momentum equal less velocity. So a heavier weapon imparts the transfer of momentum more slowly. However there's a limit, the weapon needs to transfer it;s momentum and reset back to the rest position before the next round is fired./ If it dosen;t the next round will just make the rearwards velocity higher and because it never resets reduce the distance it has to move rearwards ultimately undoing the benefit of the extra mass on apparent recoil.

Absolute recoil is really an expression of the law of conservation of momentum. You can spread the transfer of momentum out, but you can't prevent it. The reason a normal firearm doesn't throw you backwards is that the peak force from apparent recoil isn't enough to mess with your center of gravity, (apply enough force at the shoulder at it will knock you over backwards no matter how strong or agile or quick you are), and also that your feet are in contact with the ground, and the same flexing and transfer of momentum from you to the ground beneath your feet happens as happened between the gun and your body.

But there are limits, too much force and your center of gravity will be pushed off balance and your feet will lose contact with the floor no matter how you move them, and too much momentum and even if you couldn't lose contact with the ground you won't be able to transfer the momentum because you can't generate enough friction with the ground to apply the necessary level of force, and even if you could you'd still go flying backwards as the ground under your feet tore apart under the stress.

You see a tripod isn't there just to support the weight, it also gives the weapon a low wide base with features that dig into the ground allowing it to transfer the momentum force more easily and without tearing up the ground in the process. Full blown automatic cannon on their own independent bases will usually be positioned just a few feet off the ground, and are a couple of meters across that weigh several hundred KG's and need stakes, (sort of giant tent pegs), driven multiple feet into the earth.

This isn;t a problem brute strength, durability, opr healing factor can overcome, you either have to break the law of conservation of momentum or seriously upscale your wielder, which runs into all kinds of issues with places they can;t go.


Regarding grenade effects. Wikipedia claims that a HEDP 40mm NATO grenade will penetrate 2 inches of steel, (50mm), and has a lethal fragmentation radius of 5 meters, (about 18ft), and can cause injuries much further away than that, (it lists the absolute upper injury limit as 130m, but the guaranteed injury radius isn't listed). Based on an incident involving one of the mythbusters camera's and a grenade experiment it can probably inflict death or injury in those radius's through standard infantry body armour. The MK19 grenade machine gun AFAIK is virtually identical in impact effects to the standard underbarrel kind, it just uses a higher muzzle velocity round that couldn't be fired safely out of a normal grenade launcher.

Also there are semi-automatic multi-shot grenade launchers in the under barrel ammunition type that can be safely fired so you don't have to go to a full on Mk19 to get rapid fire. ANd there's also the frag-12, you can fire that out of a full auto-shotgun no problem and it;s still got a kill radius of 2.7m, (9ft).

SleepyShadow
2018-07-26, 09:55 PM
I was thinking more about the Ragesians keeping some semblance of the moral high ground and assuaging their own guilt / justifying a conquest to their own people.

Speaking about the not-Japanese in particular and assuming they're similar to the real Edo period, if I were to co-op their chain of command into legitimising Ragesian rule, I'd aim for the post of Shogun - that would grant you the control of the ruling caste. If I wanted to work it the other way and start from the peasants upwards to force the ruling caste to change, I'd get the Emperor to marry a Ragesian and therefore any descendants would have his divine right to rule (with a couple of quiet political manoeuverings to ensure that the half Ragesian ends up the heir apparent).

If I were being particularly sneaky about it, I'd see whether the Ragesian religion could be inserted into the not-Japanese religion. While I wouldn't go for the straight copy/paste/re-label of the Romans, selling the Ragesians as the long returned children of a deity (I'm thinking either Susano-no-miko or maybe Fujin/Raijin) would help their acceptability to the not-Japanese. In the real Far East, there was a push to help national pride by associating people of a country with a particular spirit animal - for example, the Chinese were the descendants of dragons, while the Mongolians were the Children of the Wolf (I forget who the other countries were).

Alternately, copy the Mongols again and simply execute all of the ruling caste and tell the common folk and the administrators "Carry on as normal, except you pay your taxes to us now".



As Epimethee said, the improvements offered by the Ragesians would help immensely.

Given good discipline and a focus on duty and civic purpose, the Ragesians would fit right with in the not-Japanese. Depending on exactly which time period of feudal Japan (Sengoku or early Edo at the latest), you'd have a good mix of professional soldiers that would be easily trained in Ragesian warfare (samurai deppo units fought as independent skirmishers) and less trained soldiers that could be easily led (ashigaru).

This is a fantastic plan. It wouldn't even be too hard to fit Ragesian beliefs in with Not-Japan. The Ragesians already view their empress as a divine being, so some clever propaganda could go a long way to integrating the two peoples. Very sneaky indeed, and I love it!

You guys have all been such a big help setting up the next few steps of my campaign. Thank you so much!

Mr Beer
2018-07-27, 12:24 AM
Don't get me wrong Mr Beer, I like the tactics you give here and I think they are the only way to go. But most are easily avoidable by taking the enemy seriously.

Yeah I think the locals are screwed, at least initially. It's just a laundry list of do-s and don't-s, as someone put it above, there is no readily apparent hard counter to the Ragesians.

Epimethee
2018-07-27, 03:36 AM
@Mr Beer: Totally agree with you. It would be interesting to come back in the setting maybe a century after the Invasion to look at the new face of the world. Between a kind of globalization (closer to the XIX century phenomenon), the technological changes and the new educated elites, it would be very interesting, think Ghandi or Senghor as inspirations. The main difference would be the hegemony of a single colonial power on a more or less unified world.


I was thinking more about the Ragesians keeping some semblance of the moral high ground and assuaging their own guilt / justifying a conquest to their own people.


That's a good point. As I said, I would take a leaf from the colonial playbook and infantilize the local societies. I won't dwell to deep on a subject that may verge on the political. I seem more concerned with the social than the technological questions, I need to be careful as I'm often on the fringes. But still, I would point to you the theory of "martial races", a kind of pseudo-darwinian theory popularized by Lord Frederick Roberts, supreme commander of the British forces between 1885 and 1893. The impact of such theories on the Sikh or on the French "tirailleur sénégalais" are huge, as they mostly reshaped the way those populations saw themselves and integrated them with a kind of positive mythology in the system of the empire.
For further reading, look at the work of Gajendra Singh, from the university of Oxford, or "Warrior Saints: Four Century of Sikh Military History" by Amandeep Singh Madra and Parmjit Singh. The works on French Senegalese forces are obviously mostly in French, but if you are interested, tell me!



Speaking about the not-Japanese in particular and assuming they're similar to the real Edo period, if I were to co-op their chain of command into legitimising Ragesian rule, I'd aim for the post of Shogun - that would grant you the control of the ruling caste. If I wanted to work it the other way and start from the peasants upwards to force the ruling caste to change, I'd get the Emperor to marry a Ragesian and therefore any descendants would have his divine right to rule (with a couple of quiet political manoeuverings to ensure that the half Ragesian ends up the heir apparent).

Exactly that! I just finished the Heike Monogatari and was particularly interested in the way the legitimacy of the emperor is always preserved, at least on paper. That's really a huge propaganda tool and you are spot-on!


If I were being particularly sneaky about it, I'd see whether the Ragesian religion could be inserted into the not-Japanese religion. While I wouldn't go for the straight copy/paste/re-label of the Romans, selling the Ragesians as the long returned children of a deity (I'm thinking either Susano-no-miko or maybe Fujin/Raijin) would help their acceptability to the not-Japanese. In the real Far East, there was a push to help national pride by associating people of a country with a particular spirit animal - for example, the Chinese were the descendants of dragons, while the Mongolians were the Children of the Wolf (I forget who the other countries were).


Interestingly, you can also find the opposite phenomenon, where the colonized use the mythical landscape of the settler. I have a book written by some French Canadian Hurons, a native american population. They use fringe theories to describe themselves as the descendant of arthurian knights exiled in America, thus legitimizing their cultural identity inside the frame of Occidental narratives.
That's really interesting anthropologically.

[Edit: as a less contentious example, think about the Irish or Scandinavian myths. Irish myth are the most interesting as they include various links, roman an greek myths, the flood and so on. you find the same in the mayan Popol Vuh, written in the colonial period and who include something close to the biblical cosmogony. The cultural power of the newly arrived is important enough to reframe the local customs.
Another good example of this phenomenon could be seen in the little anthropological movie "Les Maîtres Fous" by Jean Rouch, a French ethnographist highly influential not only by his scientific work. The "Nouvelle Vague" (Goddard, Truffaut, Resnais and son on) was also influenced by his camera. The movie is easily available on youtube but really impressive as it show a ritual celebration were people are possessed by spirits. What is in this case interesting is that some spirits are called the Governor, the Capitain's wife, the Locomotive Engineer, and that the ritual use the the same kind of ceremonial frame that the more organized parade of the colonial military. What its mean is best left for another place (start here maybe: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_maîtres_fous but it may help to think of some clever ways to show the same kind of dynamics in a fantastic setting]


Given good discipline and a focus on duty and civic purpose, the Ragesians would fit right with in the not-Japanese. Depending on exactly which time period of feudal Japan (Sengoku or early Edo at the latest), you'd have a good mix of professional soldiers that would be easily trained in Ragesian warfare (samurai deppo units fought as independent skirmishers) and less trained soldiers that could be easily led (ashigaru).

Well done again! One thing also that would help immensely is the different mean of control. Think only what it could mean for the drill of the troops to be able to use the educative tools of early 20th century: standardization, visual guides, mass productions, printed administration, individual files... As much as it would lead to tensions, in the least urbanized places, it would be in places like non-japan like putting suddenly the dial of the local power to to eleven.

Brother Oni
2018-07-27, 07:22 AM
This is a fantastic plan. It wouldn't even be too hard to fit Ragesian beliefs in with Not-Japan. The Ragesians already view their empress as a divine being, so some clever propaganda could go a long way to integrating the two peoples. Very sneaky indeed, and I love it!

Depending on the dominant physical characteristics of the Ragesians, it could help cement the link (since you mentioned they had German tech, I was working under the impression that they tended towards tall blondes with blue eyes). There's a hypothesis that the Japanese depiction of oni as tall hulking humanoids with a shock of white hair originally derived from superstitious Japanese peasants meeting shipwrecked Russian sailors. Given that Fuujin and Raijin are both normally depicted as oni, it's nearly too perfect to ignore.

As a side note, the name for the not-Japan island, Ken Kosuta, has been bugging me. I thought it might be a Lot5R reference as they tend to mash kana together until they get something sounding vaguely Japanese-y, but that's struck out and the only other reference I can find is to a thread made by you.
Kosuta is normally the katakana romanisation for 'Costa' and 'ken' can mean 'sword' or 'fist' depending on the character... wait 'Sword Coast'? :smallsigh:

If I may make a suggestion - 'Kosuta no ken' flows better and means basically the same as the English term (Coast of Swords or Sword(s) of the Coast). A more accurate translation is 'Ken no Kosuta' (Sword's coast), although doesn't roll off the tongue as well.

Edit: This is probably a bit too deep, but it does lead to the evocative term Ken-jin for the not-Japanese to refer to themselves - literally 'Sword people' or 'Blade people'. If that doesn't immediately paint an image of a martial people and culture, I don't know what will.



That's a good point. As I said, I would take a leaf from the colonial playbook and infantilize the local societies. I won't dwell to deep on a subject that may verge on the political. I seem more concerned with the social than the technological questions, I need to be careful as I'm often on the fringes. But still, I would point to you the theory of "martial races", a kind of pseudo-darwinian theory popularized by Lord Frederick Roberts, supreme commander of the British forces between 1885 and 1893. The impact of such theories on the Sikh or on the French "tirailleur sénégalais" are huge, as they mostly reshaped the way those populations saw themselves and integrated them with a kind of positive mythology in the system of the empire.
For further reading, look at the work of Gajendra Singh, from the university of Oxford, or "Warrior Saints: Four Century of Sikh Military History" by Amandeep Singh Madra and Parmjit Singh. The works on French Senegalese forces are obviously mostly in French, but if you are interested, tell me!


I'm aware of the British 'martial races' theory (the British Army still has the Gurkhas through careful finagling of them not being classed mercenaries, although we've given the Sikh Regiment back to the Indian Army), although my knowledge of non-English sources is very lacking. I'll look up the references you've mentioned - thank you!


Well done again! One thing also that would help immensely is the different mean of control. Think only what it could mean for the drill of the troops to be able to use the educative tools of early 20th century: standardization, visual guides, mass productions, printed administration, individual files... As much as it would lead to tensions, in the least urbanized places, it would be in places like non-japan like putting suddenly the dial of the local power to to eleven.

German advisors training the Japanese military during the rapid modernisation of the late 19th/ early 20th Century Meiji period is how it went in real life as well (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germany%E2%80%93Japan_relations). From reading up on Jakob Meckel (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jakob_Meckel), it looks like reinforcing unswerving loyalty to a divine ruler is a common training tool throughout the ages.

One point to mention is that Japanese tend to be surprisingly superstitious - the rural not-Japanese would likely oppose any invaders (including the more urban not-Japanese) on a matter of principle. However using propaganda tools like "The Daughters of Raijin have returned to help lead the great Ken Kosuta Empire to domination over the world" with the Emperor legitimising them would get them on board very quickly.

The Jack
2018-07-27, 08:49 AM
I think it's weird where you put not-japan/Not-mongolia. I mean, I'm disappointed with the lack of china and how japan's dispraportionately used to represent the far east in general (as cultural exports go, the japanese are genius) but it's kinda weird how you put not-mongolia at very south and then not-japan next to the vikings and the dwarves in the north east. I realise that you've got a very pulpy take on things, but neighbours influence eachother, Especially in weapons, armour and tactics...

If it turns out the dwarves are chinese... Well it'd be interesting.


I need to see the scenario where, after the Ragesians invade, the not-soviet union rises from the sea, destroys the Ragesians with overwhelming might, and falls back into the sea.

Brother Oni
2018-07-27, 11:26 AM
I mean, I'm disappointed with the lack of china and how japan's dispraportionately used to represent the far east in general...

Ignoring the effects of Lafcadio Hearn and weeaboos for now, with the exception of the Okinawans who only see themselves as Japanese on a good day, Japan is mostly a mono-culture, which is reinforced by their ethnic homogeneity and their cultural stagnation during the Edo period. While there are linguistic differences (some of the rural accents get REALLY unintelligible to a Standard Japanese speaker) and region specific festivals, Japan is broadly the same - 'Ware Ware Nihonjin' (We Japanese) the most acceptable way of putting it these days; 'Ichioku Isshin' (One hundred million hearts as one) has the same message of unity but with negative connotations with WW2 Imperial Japanese propaganda, much like certain German phrases.

China however is a vast melting pot of cultures and peoples; the Southern Chinese are different from the Northern Chinese, physically, linguistically and culturally and at the far edges of China, you have a much more broad definition of 'Chinese'.
This isn't even getting into the ethnic groups, both recognised and unrecognised, who have their own customs and language. You then have to pick the period, which defines the predominant culture and aesthetic of the time - for example, the Qing Dynasty hair queue is very specific and isn't representative of more famous Chinese periods like The Three Kingdoms or Warring States.

While I'd also like China to be more represented (and no, you can't use the Mongols to represent the Ming Dynasty), you'd have to be very specific, while Japan is an easy pick to represent the Far East.

SleepyShadow
2018-07-27, 12:53 PM
@Brother Oni: The Ragesians tend to be blonde or platinum blonde, and the vast majority of them are over six feet tall. They consider someone to be short if they're under 5'11".

Also, I apologize for the cringe worthy name of Not-Japan. This campaign setting is about twelve years old and has gone through a lot of collaboration over the years. Most of the names have remained untouched for legacy purposes, but I've done my best to fix the painful stereotyping a lot of the countries suffered from in previous iterations. I'm definitely changing the name to "Kosuta no Ken", and having the locals refer to themselves as "Ken-jin" is brilliant.

@The Jack: The placement of Not-Japan and Not-Mongolia has to do with where groups of players have explored in the past more than anything else. Early groups honed in on exploring the "Mysterious East" while getting them to go far enough south to hit Al-Hassan was like pulling teeth. Only recently did Not-Mongolia and Not-Greece make it onto the map.

As for the dwarves, they aren't Chinese but they're almost the soviets you want. They refer to their country as "The People's Republic of Goltrand", and their governing body is made up of an equal number of representatives from each of the four guilds (Military, Merchant, Laborer, and Priesthood). I apologize for the lack of Not-China, but I wouldn't be opposed to putting it on the map if one of my player groups bothered to sail into the western ocean.

Epimethee
2018-07-27, 01:57 PM
One thing to add: be careful not to tie yourself too much to one nation: As great as what we say for not-Japan may be, Ragesia would need other tools for other nations. Also tying itself too much to one nation may be counter-productive in the long run.

I was under the impression that for a long time Japan was under the influence of continental culture, as the emperor referred to the emperor of China in his mandate, and as is apparent in the buddhism (even modified by local customs) the tales of monk traveling to and from China and further and so on... That's not to contradict what you say, Brother Oni, Japan was really insular after the XVI century, and the sense of identity is and was strong, and it can't be compared with the melting pot of China. It is still worth mentioning.

Also I spoke of propaganda in the broader and technical sense of the term. The content would be relevant with more cultural informations but I think the sheer weight of the media would be enough to blow the mind of most peoples. We tend to forget the impact of magazines, photos and posters in the early XXth century. Of course, the standard of education would be different but, if you think of Georgian England and the engraving of Cruishank or Gillray, you would see that the pictures are always a huge draw for the population. Then imagine what impact photography would have...
I have a few magazine from WWI, written to the French population and it make for an interesting read. That's not as sophisticated that the later stuff of 1930-40 but that's still impressive. From satirical pieces on German cuisine to photoreportages in the frontlines, and even articles about elegance in time of war or the life of domestics animals, every aspect of society is covered.
Nothing a preindustrial society product can match this cultural impact.

Finally, I was thinking about the way Swiss army was important in the making of the modern Swiss confederation. The federal army was only implemented after the Sonderbund War in 1848, which led to the first draft of the actual Constitution (it is updated every few years). The Swiss Army was then a place where people from every part of the country would meet and was really instrumental in reinforcing the links between the different part of the country. Ragesia would be wise to use something alike, using the war of conquest to mix the local peoples, to create new links, or new settlements.
Maybe the roman policies of displacing legions around the empire would also be a good comparison.

The Jack
2018-07-27, 05:14 PM
How does a speargun compare to a crossbow in damage potential? Both on land and under water. I heard bows/crossbows work better under water than you'd think.

Brother Oni
2018-07-27, 09:00 PM
I was under the impression that for a long time Japan was under the influence of continental culture, as the emperor referred to the emperor of China in his mandate, and as is apparent in the buddhism (even modified by local customs) the tales of monk traveling to and from China and further and so on... That's not to contradict what you say, Brother Oni, Japan was really insular after the XVI century, and the sense of identity is and was strong, and it can't be compared with the melting pot of China. It is still worth mentioning.


While true, Japan started separating around about the Heian period and the regular Japanese missions to China stopped around about the 9th Century. After that, aside from the odd import (notably a flavour of Buddism), Japan developed mostly by itself and their isolationist views weren't helped by the two Mongol invasions in the 13th Century. It wasn't until the Portuguese (and later the Dutch) who brought guns and Christianity during the Sengoku civil war during the 16th Century that Japan really opened up, only to promptly slam shut again with the Edo.

After that it was only at cannon point, courtesy of Admiral Perry in the 19th Century, that they opened their doors again.

Given that the not-Japanese in this setting are late Sengoku/early Edo, they would be the cultural equivalent of Japan after about 500-ish years of limited outside influences. This is the main cause of why, among many other things, Japanese warfare and martial techniques are so damn weird when looking at the wider context of the world; they've been developing in their own micro-environment for centuries.

As an example from personal experience, I cannot figure out how they get a consistent draw during their archery, since they thumb draw to somewhere behind the ear with apparently no anchor or reference points.


How does a speargun compare to a crossbow in damage potential? Both on land and under water. I heard bows/crossbows work better under water than you'd think.

What depth are you shooting at? Compressed air spearguns performance trails off rapidly the deeper you get.

What type of crossbow? Modern pulley or medieval? What's the draw weight? Are they shooting target tips or broadheads?

What are the spearguns/crossbows shooting at? Paper target, something soft and squishy or armoured? If armoured, what type?

Looking up some numbers, a high performing rubber band spearguns has bands of 18mm thickness, with no other technical data. Standard factory setting for a speargun is 20 bar pressure and the longer the barrel, the more power you get due to the longer power stroke, with lengths of from 40-110cm. I can't find a spear weight (they're sold by width, length and material with no mention of whether they're hollow or the wall thickness), so I can't calculate the power generated.
Underwater range for a speargun seems to cap out at about 8 metres with no data on air distance, although anedotally, they seem to be only effective out to ~10m as they start to tumble.
From this video by my favourite German, Joerg Sprave, spearguns would be lethal to unarmoured people at home defence distances (<5m). (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqPyBpuPb9E) He indicates the spears seem to be completely solid, so when I get more time, I may go back and crunch some numbers.

From eyeballing it, a crossbow will pretty much outperform a speargun in pretty much every scenario - even when they're tagging whales for study purposes, they use a (low powered) crossbow. A ~150lb modern pulley bow would most likely be lethal out to ~180 yards and that's rather light draw by hunting standards.

The Jack
2018-07-28, 10:30 AM
Question is more or less "what's the best thing to shoot weresharks with". Modern crossbows are the contender here. We can use many a different draw weight, and we can do the same with spearguns; but what's the generally better weapon of war if you were going to wage it underwater.

The fight can be taken to land too. But we're talking thick hides/ strong scales. Armour that would be considered natural.


I suppose I should be adding in underwater flechete rifles. I understand they're less accurate out of water; are the rounds as powerful as their surface equivalents?


Also, how protective is modern chain armour, in comparison to the older stuff.

Carl
2018-07-28, 11:10 AM
Question is more or less "what's the best thing to shoot weresharks with". Modern crossbows are the contender here. We can use many a different draw weight, and we can do the same with spearguns; but what's the generally better weapon of war if you were going to wage it underwater.

The fight can be taken to land too. But we're talking thick hides/ strong scales. Armour that would be considered natural.


I suppose I should be adding in underwater flechete rifles. I understand they're less accurate out of water; are the rounds as powerful as their surface equivalents?


Also, how protective is modern chain armour, in comparison to the older stuff.

Use Depth charges or mini torpedoes. The former can even be created using modified mortar bombs from a man portable mortar. There's really no good reason to go into the water after them if you just want to kill them, the sea has even less collateral to worry about than land.

The Jack
2018-07-28, 12:24 PM
Use Depth charges or mini torpedoes. The former can even be created using modified mortar bombs from a man portable mortar. There's really no good reason to go into the water after them if you just want to kill them, the sea has even less collateral to worry about than land.

Agreed, but let's say you're protecting an oil rig, an underwater research station, an unquestionably-civilian ship, or you're needing to recover something delicate from the ocean floor.

gkathellar
2018-07-28, 01:55 PM
Agreed, but let's say you're protecting an oil rig, an underwater research station, an unquestionably-civilian ship, or you're needing to recover something delicate from the ocean floor.

I'd go with man-portable harpoons/spear guns. Not only are they generally good aquatic weapons, but they're probably your best bet in terms of immobilizing the enemy, which is critical in general but will be especially important underwater where having fins is kind of a big deal. Nothing is going to swim well (or walk, or fly, or anything else really) with a giant hunk of metal sticking through it, especially not if the hunk of metal has some kind of tether that can be tied to solid fixtures of the environment. In addition, a harpoon or spear could have a steel head for piercing the target, while incorporating silver into the shaft to maximize effectiveness once the first wounds have been dealt (silver is very subject to corrosion, so the launcher itself could protect the metal until it was fired).

Also this might sound weird, but you might want to look into the material weaknesses of dentine (like the stuff in your teeth). A variant of the material makes up a shark's rough outer layer of scales, so you could probably technobabble your way into some kind of skin-melting tooth-decay bomb.

Re: monster fighting in general, I think you may want to look at, on the one hand, the kinds of nonlethal methods used by law enforcement, and on the other hand, the ways humans fight big animals or even vehicles. Humans are pretty fragile, so killing us is usually the quickest way to stop us, and that biases our weapons design. But when you're dealing with something big and/or durable, it could easily be more expedient to focus on disabling the target, or to design weapons with the assumption that you will be engaging the target over a protracted period.

The Jack
2018-07-28, 02:52 PM
The dentine idea sounds nice but
A: They regenerate. (they also can't bleed to death, and they can shapeshift, so the capture suggestion's off the table. Long drawn out combat is for a thousand reasons a bad idea. )
B: Why go through the trouble to poison the teeth when it's easier to poison the bastards dead?


Also silver's supposed to be pretty good for corrosion, isn't it?

Mr Beer
2018-07-28, 04:00 PM
Bangsticks are well known tech, easy to use. They're one shot though so maybe not great vs. schools of weresharks.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powerhead_(firearm)

Load one of these bad boys up with a silver rifle bullet or a 10 gauge shotgun shell packed with silver deerslugs. Should do the job.

The Jack
2018-07-28, 04:52 PM
Already got em down. I just want to know what's stronger (relative to weight and such) crossbows or spearguns.

Mostly because, though I've already got stats for crossbows from the core book, there's nothing for spearguns.
I really appreciate all the extra suggestions, but I just wanna know what to shoot things with.


Also, weresharks don't do big groups that much. They're more based on the larger breeds.

gkathellar
2018-07-28, 05:02 PM
Also silver's supposed to be pretty good for corrosion, isn't it?

I could have sworn it was used so little in electronics due to its tendency to corrode, but on looking it up I appear to have been imagining that.

Incidentally, how would your werecreatures react to silver-based explosives? Because those are apparently a thing.

Brother Oni
2018-07-28, 07:25 PM
Mostly because, though I've already got stats for crossbows from the core book, there's nothing for spearguns.
I really appreciate all the extra suggestions, but I just wanna know what to shoot things with.

I've given you the lethality of spearguns from that video - that Cressi Sioux 50 cm rubber band speargun went through 22cm of 20% ballistic gel with ~12.5 cm to spare. The Cressi SL Star 55cm Pneumatic one sent the whole 75cm spear through the entire block.
For reference, the FBI minimum standard for lethality is 12" (30.5cm) penetration into 10% ballistic gel. While it sounds like spearguns are better than pistols, bear in mind that a spearguns maximum range is ~10m at best (a spear isn't particularly aerodynamic), whereas pistols are lethal up to much greater distances, even if their effective range is about the same.

Both spearguns weigh about 3lbs, with the pneumatic being harder to load, heavier, more compact and with reduced power at depth.

It sounds more like to me that you're less interested in suggestions and more interested in "I want this to work in my game, help me justify it".

In any case, any reason why all your human soldiers aren't using upgraded ADS Amphibious rifles (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ADS_amphibious_rifle)? The main disadvantage of spearguns is the single shot, whereas any soldier worth their salt can use a rifle in pretty much any conditions. The ADS uses smaller cartridges as supersonic munitions break up faster underwater, so they use slower, less powerful cartridges which give better range underwater.

Durkoala
2018-07-28, 10:15 PM
Is there a way to make a video camera analogue with 1900-1913 technology? The information is fed into a robotic brain (based on an upgraded version of the Analysis Engine, but I'm OK to wave away the specifics of how that works), so there's no need to worry about projecting or storing the film. What about infrared or other varitions on a camera?

Gnoman
2018-07-28, 11:31 PM
They had commercial moving pictures as early as 1903, so I see no reason you couldn't. It would be a bulky thing, but any robot you're building in this timeline should be bulky.

HeadlessMermaid
2018-07-29, 02:33 AM
Is there a way to make a video camera analogue with 1900-1913 technology? The information is fed into a robotic brain (based on an upgraded version of the Analysis Engine, but I'm OK to wave away the specifics of how that works), so there's no need to worry about projecting or storing the film. What about infrared or other varitions on a camera?
The invention of the cinema is usually attributed to the Lumière brothers (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lumi%C3%A8re_brothers), in 1895. There were other methods of "moving pictures" around, but this one came complete with a camera to capture them, film to store them, and a projector to display them. Infrared film has been around since the 1910s. So you're good.

But I don't think you can handwave information storage, the film itself is pretty darn important. A camera is really easy to build, it's literally a black box with a lens, and an aperture if you want to get fancy. (Technically even the lens is optional, a hole in the box will do - see camera obscura (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camera_obscura) and pinhole cameras (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinhole_camera).) The tricky part is to create a light-sensitive surface where the image will be "written" when light passes through the lens, and then come up with a chemical process to permanently "fix" the image, basically STOP the surface from being light-sensitive any more. Otherwise, the image will simply disappear next time light falls on the surface. This is the development process.

Once you make that happen, you get photography - this occurred in 1827. And once you get a film (your light-sensitive surface) that rolls behind the lens, and allows you to take many photographs in succession, so rapidly that your eyes can't tell apart the frames when you project them at the same speed, then you get video technology.

Your robotic brain/upgraded Analytical Engine can't process the film, or any image for that matter, directly. Well I guess you could add a film rack and projector, but that would be a projector, not an analytical engine. To actually analyse it, you'd have to convert luminosity to voltage first, and I'm not sure if you can do that in the 1900s. (And I'm assuming black and white film; if you want colour, luminosity isn't enough, you also need wavelength). And then you'd have to sample and covert voltage to binary, or whatever can be "read" by the engine - basically an ADC (analogue to digital converter). All in all, WAY too much trouble. If you only care about storage, and not processing the film, I'd say robotic brains are completely redundant here.

Here's a broad timeline of photography tech (http://howtoseewithoutacamera.tumblr.com/bydate), wikipedia has a much longer list (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_photography_technology).

Brother Oni
2018-07-29, 02:36 AM
Is there a way to make a video camera analogue with 1900-1913 technology? The information is fed into a robotic brain (based on an upgraded version of the Analysis Engine, but I'm OK to wave away the specifics of how that works), so there's no need to worry about projecting or storing the film. What about infrared or other varitions on a camera?

Bear in mind that the information would fed to a roll of celluloid film, which would then be fed into the Analysis Engine, so your camera would only run as long as it had film stock. Looking up 35mm film, the slowest it was run at was 12 inches (300mm) per second which would give you 16 FPS and a standard 1000 foot (305m) reel would last for ~15 minutes.

You could theoretically get lowlight vision by increasing the aperture of the camera lens and increasing the exposure time of the film, but that means dropping your FPS. From looking up star photography, they use exposure times of 30 seconds (0.03 fps/2fpm or about the same speed as a big Alliance battle in Eve Online), so I'd use that as the absolute lower end and anything moving will just appear as streaky blurs.

Xuc Xac
2018-07-29, 03:54 AM
Once you make that happen, you get photography - this occurred in 1827. And once you get a film (your light-sensitive surface) that rolls behind the lens, and allows you to take many photographs in succession, so rapidly that your eyes can't tell apart the frames when you project them at the same speed, then you get video technology.


That's still film, not video. Video is electronic.



To actually analyse it, you'd have to convert luminosity to voltage first...

That's video technology. If you can show your film to a light sensor to convert the image to an electrical signal, why bother to use film at all? Just put the light sensor in the camera in place of film and view the image directly.

The first electronic light sensor was in 1909. They were big and expensive and you needed one tube per pixel. The first demo used 25 selenium tubes to transmit simple shapes over a wire. Wireless television started in the 20s and some radio stations transmitted TV signals that could be received by mechanical (i.e. moving parts) televisor sets that used a spinning disk with holes in front of a neon light to display the signal. Cathode ray tubes (the reason TV used to be called the "boob tube" and the big user generated video content site is called YouTube) came in the 30s. All electronic image transmission was live until the 50s when they developed video tape recorders.

HeadlessMermaid
2018-07-29, 08:12 AM
That's still film, not video. Video is electronic.
Well the OP said "no need to worry about projecting or storing the film", so I assumed that by "video camera" they meant a film, motion picture camera. (Which is why I jumped through hoops with the conversions there. :smalltongue:) If I assumed wrong and the question was about electronic transmission, and/or magnetic tape recording, then your reply covered it.

Storm Bringer
2018-07-29, 10:19 AM
Is there a way to make a video camera analogue with 1900-1913 technology? The information is fed into a robotic brain (based on an upgraded version of the Analysis Engine, but I'm OK to wave away the specifics of how that works), so there's no need to worry about projecting or storing the film. What about infrared or other varitions on a camera?

if what your asking is "can I make a camera that would act as a "eye" for the brain?" then the answer is "not really", as their isn't really a way to create a viable electric input with sufficient resolution and small enough to use.

the key difficulty is getting the camera output into a format that a computer can work with, as they cannot accept a straight visual input form the lens. so, youd need some form of light sensor, some method of projecting the incoming image onto the sensors, and then some method of translating that electric input into a gear shift or other mechanical setting for the analogue computer to work with. with edwarding tech, i'd say the contraption would need to be the size of a cinema to create a input with a worthwhile resolution.

it might work for a "mainframe" type system that doesn't need to go anywhere, but not for a robot of any workable size.

however, getting the system to work at infrared or other wavelengths, thankfully, would be comparatively simple, as the only competent that would need to change would be the detector heads. as far as I know, no one ever bothered to try making a detector in those wavelengths at that time, but it shouldn't be massively harder than anything else your suggestions need.

jayem
2018-07-29, 11:23 AM
if what your asking is "can I make a camera that would act as a "eye" for the brain?" then the answer is "not really", as their isn't really a way to create a viable electric input with sufficient resolution and small enough to use.

From the point of handwaving, you do have some near options:

The pantelegraph services around that time (1850 in concept, 1860 in practice). The picture had to be written with insulating ink, and took minutes to scan (partly because it needed to keep in step with the 'printer'). But at that point you have the technology to have a surface change in response to light (photograph technology from 1800ish) and to then scan that surface (pantegraph) into an electronic format.
I don't know if there were any conductive, short-exposure, self-restoring (for normal film, keeping the image was the challenge!) photosensitive materials. if there were then it should be possible to do the warehouse sized variant in theory.
And even if there are not then at least it requires semi-advanced chemistry or googling to prove wrong. And given they will have practical experience of the resolution or timing issues (unless they are very young)...that seems good enough.

And you do have direct measurement of radio waves 1870.
Oh and the (UV) photoelectric effect was noticed about then.
Bothl of which should be workable into some form of scanner with similar levels of "don't ask".

Of course you do get the TV not too long after your time as well which clearly has all the mechanisms required at a decent speed (I think you get video phones for the Munich games).

[ETA 'colour' you can get from filters (at the cost of loss of sensitivity), providing you don't care about it being the same colour as we see.]
[ETA2 Basic Silver Chloride (as used in 1820) sounds ideal.]

The Jack
2018-07-29, 02:10 PM
I've given you the lethality of spearguns from that video - that Cressi Sioux 50 cm rubber band speargun went through 22cm of 20% ballistic gel with ~12.5 cm to spare. The Cressi SL Star 55cm Pneumatic one sent the whole 75cm spear through the entire block.
For reference, the FBI minimum standard for lethality is 12" (30.5cm) penetration into 10% ballistic gel. While it sounds like spearguns are better than pistols, bear in mind that a spearguns maximum range is ~10m at best (a spear isn't particularly aerodynamic), whereas pistols are lethal up to much greater distances, even if their effective range is about the same.

Both spearguns weigh about 3lbs, with the pneumatic being harder to load, heavier, more compact and with reduced power at depth.

It sounds more like to me that you're less interested in suggestions and more interested in "I want this to work in my game, help me justify it".


I can certainly tell that the thing is dangerous, but I can't really compare that to a crossbow, and I can't calculate the strength of a weapon with how it penetrates ballistic gel. I rely on joules to determine power. In the sequel to the video given, the double gun made had ballistic stats done... but the pneumatic weapon didn't.

Also, nah I don't work like that. Every other thing I've shot to the wall has been reasoned.
20mm guns are great, 30mm is a diminishing return/logistical issue.
(also, I looked at a 30-06 round next to a 30mm round, then thought it looked x4 cubed bigger, and got 258688j, then noted that the same article said the pushes more than the plane's engines so...)
Energy weapons will have to be done with magic, though I'll use a mundane power supply given the prior power calculations.

I don't need to help to justify anything. It's a setting where lasers weapons and such are already a thing in secret circles... and the "tech" is secret because it's "magic" (and has been for decades, so they wouldn't know a mundane solution if they saw one) This is more a "what can i get away with without magic" and occasionally a "what's the more sensible choice?"

Also underwater rifles... I'm skeptical of how much power per shot they can deliver (max damage>rate of fire). not many nations have developed them, and they're not greatly documented. I've got one down of course, but I want to be informative, Players will hopefully use what I've written: and knowledge on what doesn't work great/what works better is helpful. "aquatic assault rifles or go home" doesn't chime well with the kind of player that wants to explore options.

Brother Oni
2018-07-30, 08:22 AM
I can certainly tell that the thing is dangerous, but I can't really compare that to a crossbow, and I can't calculate the strength of a weapon with how it penetrates ballistic gel. I rely on joules to determine power. In the sequel to the video given, the double gun made had ballistic stats done... but the pneumatic weapon didn't.

While KE is a nice easy way of modelling weapon lethality, it's not necessarily the best way of doing it.

Reading up on some spearguns, 100ft/s is a reasonable projectile velocity in air. A 75cm spear of 4mm diameter of standard steel (8g/cm3) weighs 301.6g (~0.665lbs).
This gives a KE of 103.4 ft.lbs or 140.2J. This is far below the KE for a 9mm round, which is around 450J.

However ballistics test have shown that a 9mm will barely penetrate 12in of ballistic gel, whereas that pneumatic spear penetrated straight through and kept on going.

Calculating the momentum gives 66 lb/ft/s for the speargun compared to 20 lb/ft/s for the same 9mm round, which seems to correct the issue, but this only works for non-frangible rounds. Something that disintegrates once inside the target would deal more soft tissue damage (ie pretty much any supersonic round), compared to a solid penetrator.

About the only weapon system that KE is accurate for, are explosives (eg grenades, mortars, etc), mostly because it's the only model.


Also underwater rifles... I'm skeptical of how much power per shot they can deliver (max damage>rate of fire). not many nations have developed them, and they're not greatly documented. I've got one down of course, but I want to be informative, Players will hopefully use what I've written: and knowledge on what doesn't work great/what works better is helpful. "aquatic assault rifles or go home" doesn't chime well with the kind of player that wants to explore options.

This is mostly due to your damage model - since a were-critter tanks x joules worth of projectile energy without any reduction in their tankiness, high damage per shot is the only way to go. In reality, armour is degraded by repeated shots - a target hiding behind a brick wall would lose their cover far quicker if they were being shot at with a M2 compared to an Anzio 20mm. How or if you want to resolve this, is entirely up to you.

I've explained why amphibious rifles seem to have lower power - again this is an easy fix by increasing the calibre and cartridge (say up to 7.62x39mm) and having two ammunition types; a full charge ammunition for shooting in air and a lower power, partly filled (personally I'd have them as less finely grained powder, so it takes up more space per granule to minimise the headspace and avoid settling/discharge consistency issues) cartridge ammunition for underwater shooting.

Personally I'd map all the options and forget about the balance. Using sub par weaponry against something that wants to bite your head off is largely a self correcting problem. :smalltongue:

I'm now going to lie down as crunching between SI and imperial units have given me a massive headache...

Carl
2018-07-30, 10:57 AM
Agreed, but let's say you're protecting an oil rig, an underwater research station, an unquestionably-civilian ship, or you're needing to recover something delicate from the ocean floor.


I can certainly tell that the thing is dangerous, but I can't really compare that to a crossbow, and I can't calculate the strength of a weapon with how it penetrates ballistic gel. I rely on joules to determine power. In the sequel to the video given, the double gun made had ballistic stats done... but the pneumatic weapon didn't.

Also, nah I don't work like that. Every other thing I've shot to the wall has been reasoned.
20mm guns are great, 30mm is a diminishing return/logistical issue.
(also, I looked at a 30-06 round next to a 30mm round, then thought it looked x4 cubed bigger, and got 258688j, then noted that the same article said the pushes more than the plane's engines so...)
Energy weapons will have to be done with magic, though I'll use a mundane power supply given the prior power calculations.

I don't need to help to justify anything. It's a setting where lasers weapons and such are already a thing in secret circles... and the "tech" is secret because it's "magic" (and has been for decades, so they wouldn't know a mundane solution if they saw one) This is more a "what can i get away with without magic" and occasionally a "what's the more sensible choice?"

Also underwater rifles... I'm skeptical of how much power per shot they can deliver (max damage>rate of fire). not many nations have developed them, and they're not greatly documented. I've got one down of course, but I want to be informative, Players will hopefully use what I've written: and knowledge on what doesn't work great/what works better is helpful. "aquatic assault rifles or go home" doesn't chime well with the kind of player that wants to explore options.

Sorry but Brother Oni hit the nail on the head, your asking us to justify your decisions and are proving remarkably resistant to people telling you your going at it arse bbackwards.

Belive me i know what thats like, hell you remind me a lot fo myseklf several years ago, never mind when i was younger. This will probably amuse everyone else here but at one time, (13-14 age wise) i was doodling a helicopter with a chin turret mounted 100mm gatling gun.

As brother Oni has allready pointed out joules isn;t a great way to measure destructive power.

A great comparison is the Smith and Weston 500 Magnum cartridge to the 7.62mm NATO, (virtually identical to 30-06), the latter has over twice the energy but the former, (.500), is considered good for all types of game worldwide whilst the 7.62mm is not. Despite having less energy the design and functionality of the .500 give it far more stopping power at typical hunting distances. However it is a terrible military cartridge because it's heavy per round for it's stopping power and not capable of the same kind of long range performance.


It a similar though somewhat different for cannon rounds, quite aside from your energy estimation being too high by a fairly wide margin it's completely irrelevant, Anything 50cal or bigger with any kind of explosive filler gets virtually all it's lethality from it's explosive, unfortunately the energy of the explosive doesn't translate neatly to gun power, (any more than wildly different gun powers do for that matter). it's also why everyone kept pushing you on things like grenade launchers and claymores. Those things have many times the elthatality of a 20-300mm cannon round, they're functionally just as lethal within their effective range as a similar sized, (40mm), cannon because they typically fire ammunition with a similar explosive punch and fragmentation effect.


And that bring me back round to the first post of yours i quoted.

First and foremost, Aside from the last one none of those things are in danger until the weresharks ethier come up above surface or in the seabase case come indoors. And a mobile target like a cruise ship isn't in any danger at all because unless you want people to notice quickly and have your masquerade fall apart and notice the super speedy sharks. Super toughness, Super strength, shape changing, super endurance, they can all blend in to a degree, especially with hollywood distorting people's expectations. But super speed is going to be a lot harder to explain away with the same kind of things that work for the others, the others can all be dismissed as trick of the eye or bad readings. It's not something that's going to be easy to catch on camera. Super speed is. And that means any mobile target can avoid it, (and the military can come up with all sorts of reasons to make a civilian ship conduct a small turn if they need to).

You also have to bear in mind actual businesses are risk adverse and look to minimise their expenditures. So even if your able to explain away whereshark attacks as pirates and terrorists and drug smugglers using scuba gear, if they're active enough in a particular area you'd have to routinely worry about sending out one of your special teams then the businesses just aren't going to operate there it would be too expensive to do so. That cuts down the potential list of targets a lot.

That said, yes i can see that there definitely might be some good reasons you can't allways drop big boom on them, (though probably not as many as you think again if you don;t want the masquerade to fall apart there's a limit to how tough and strong they can be, and that means explosions will have a significantly greater danger radius vs them than vs anything non-living). But here's the thing, all of the underwater weapons anyones mentioned so far have two things in common. A) they're meant to deal with either a human, (who dosen;' maneuver, see or otherwise work very well under water and is a bit of a sitting duck really), or normal wild animals, and B) is a weapon of last resort.

Wild animals as a rule won't go all out against anything unless they're totally utterly desperate. There's too much danger of them being injured if they do, it's not good for survival to do it unless it's absolutely needed. That why despite Mythbusters showing it was theoretically possibble there's never been a real instance of a shark smashing a shark cage. And as a rule wild animals given the opportunity will usually back down if they get hurt, they won;t keep coming despite the injury unless they're really worked up.

A Wereanimal is a whole different kettle of fish. They're going to go all in and they're going to be more willing to keep coming despite an injury. So even if our weresharks are no better physically in all respects than a great white, the odds are nothing except the underwater rifles, and maybe the speargun is going to save you. The bang stick, or a crossbow, or even a speargun or rifle might inflict a fatal injury, but unless you take out a big piece of the brain your probably not going to get a hard kill fast enough to stop it ripping you to pieces. And even if you do take out the brain, unless you do it with the rifle at a good distance the sheer momentum is still going to produce a lethal collision.

And thats discounting how the superior agility and senses of the weresharks are going to play into things. With that in play and actual intelligance driving them the odds that even a team of divers could see them in time to stop them tearing the lot of them to pieces is slim to none.

You;d be much better off putting your soldiers in a hardsuit or even a small one man minisub. Water gets around a fair few of the issues with power armour on land letting you build somthing that can function as such and have a good diving depth, sonar, and really powerful melee weaponry and rocket propelled spears for short ranges, hell even an underwater rifle. They're going to be the next best thing to invulnerable in somthing like that and they're going to have far greater combat power. Sure it;s going to take several helicopters to move even a full squad out there, but thats not unworkable.


While KE is a nice easy way of modelling weapon lethality, it's not necessarily the best way of doing it.

Reading up on some spearguns, 100ft/s is a reasonable projectile velocity in air. A 75cm spear of 4mm diameter of standard steel (8g/cm3) weighs 301.6g (~0.665lbs).
This gives a KE of 103.4 ft.lbs or 140.2J. This is far below the KE for a 9mm round, which is around 450J.

However ballistics test have shown that a 9mm will barely penetrate 12in of ballistic gel, whereas that pneumatic spear penetrated straight through and kept on going.

Calculating the momentum gives 66 lb/ft/s for the speargun compared to 20 lb/ft/s for the same 9mm round, which seems to correct the issue, but this only works for non-frangible rounds. Something that disintegrates once inside the target would deal more soft tissue damage (ie pretty much any supersonic round), compared to a solid penetrator.

About the only weapon system that KE is accurate for, are explosives (eg grenades, mortars, etc), mostly because it's the only model.



This is mostly due to your damage model - since a were-critter tanks x joules worth of projectile energy without any reduction in their tankiness, high damage per shot is the only way to go. In reality, armour is degraded by repeated shots - a target hiding behind a brick wall would lose their cover far quicker if they were being shot at with a M2 compared to an Anzio 20mm. How or if you want to resolve this, is entirely up to you.

I've explained why amphibious rifles seem to have lower power - again this is an easy fix by increasing the calibre and cartridge (say up to 7.62x39mm) and having two ammunition types; a full charge ammunition for shooting in air and a lower power, partly filled (personally I'd have them as less finely grained powder, so it takes up more space per granule to minimise the headspace and avoid settling/discharge consistency issues) cartridge ammunition for underwater shooting.

Personally I'd map all the options and forget about the balance. Using sub par weaponry against something that wants to bite your head off is largely a self correcting problem. :smalltongue:

I'm now going to lie down as crunching between SI and imperial units have given me a massive headache...

Got to agree on the mass fire point, you don;t need to inflict one massive blow to put somthing down if you can inflict hundreds of lesser blows in the same time frame, each individual blow may not match your big one, but the cumulative effect will match or even exceed that and it's much easier to inflict large numbers of lesser blows.

The Jack
2018-07-30, 12:39 PM
A great comparison is the Smith and Weston 500 Magnum cartridge to the 7.62mm NATO, (virtually identical to 30-06), the latter has over twice the energy but the former, (.500), is considered good for all types of game worldwide whilst the 7.62mm is not.

The 7.62 nato is not the 30-06, it's the .308, and the larger 500 magnum is rather comparable to the 30.06 in joules(which is big news to me)

I know that joules is very rough and not the only factor. Most of it's gut feeling.Under the system, A .50bmg isn't twenty times more damaging to a human than a 9mm round, just three times. Also full auto fire is one damage roll, very loosely simulating the 'many small bullets at once>few big ones' rule.


"Personally I'd map all the options and forget about the balance. Using sub par weaponry against something that wants to bite your head off is largely a self correcting problem." Yeah but how do I do this when I can't compare them?

Carl
2018-07-30, 01:01 PM
The 7.62 nato is not the 30-06, it's the .308, and the larger 500 magnum is rather comparable to the 30.06 in joules(which is big news to me)

I know that joules is very rough and not the only factor. Most of it's gut feeling.Under the system, A .50bmg isn't twenty times more damaging to a human than a 9mm round, just three times. Also full auto fire is one damage roll, very loosely simulating the 'many small bullets at once>few big ones' rule.


"Personally I'd map all the options and forget about the balance. Using sub par weaponry against something that wants to bite your head off is largely a self correcting problem." Yeah but how do I do this when I can't compare them?

DoH! Thats what i get for typing from memory opn round source data.

Still the point stands,.

That said as long as you understand that point thats the main thing. You just didn't seem to realise the difference, hence mine and Brother Oni's responses.

Personally i'd use lethality as more of a basis. What i mean by that is consider what a given round will do hitting say the torso of a normal human. Assuming it does not score a direct hit on the heart or major arteries how rapidly fatal is it going to be.

Certainly there's room for variance in that number ofc. A hit to the kidney's is going to be a lot quicker to kill than a hit to the collarbone with most types of ammo. And there's no such thing as a guaranteed kill, i had a great grandparent who took a machine gun bullet in the eye in WW1, i believe it was at the battle of the somme in fact, (i'd have to double check that though, i heard the story off my grandad when i was talking about studying the somme at school, between that and the years in between i may have missed that part up), went in one eye, came out the opposite ear, lived long enough afterwards to have kids and even great grandkids, though he did die while my dad was still very young, long before i came along.

Working off a system like that will let you build a much better tuned damage scale IMO. Of course digging up info on how lethal something is won't allways be easy ofc. Swings and roundabouts.

The Jack
2018-07-30, 02:16 PM
Annoying thing is; Modern crossbows are awesome. You can get them to deliver comparable force (joules) to assault rifle rounds at far lower poundages than historical models.
Which really makes me wonder what happens if you try to make ultra modern crossbows at big historical poundages (1200lbs.)

Spearguns? I really have no idea. I can make a stat for increased penetration ( decreased resistance because the thing's so heavy and pointy) but it's really hard to find knowledge on this. Most fish hunts are a one-shot no matter what you use, and Nobody goes hunting for tiger sharks and wants to talk about it.



Also, Aquatic rifles (especially the assault kind) tends to be an eyebrow raiser. Crossbows/spearguns are fine in a lot of places.

Knaight
2018-07-30, 02:30 PM
Annoying thing is; Modern crossbows are awesome. You can get them to deliver comparable force (joules) to assault rifle rounds at far lower poundages than historical models.
Which really makes me wonder what happens if you try to make ultra modern crossbows at big historical poundages (1200lbs.)

Joules aren't a unit of force, they're a unit of energy. The SI unit for force is Newtons.

Carl
2018-07-30, 04:17 PM
Annoying thing is; Modern crossbows are awesome. You can get them to deliver comparable force (joules) to assault rifle rounds at far lower poundages than historical models.
Which really makes me wonder what happens if you try to make ultra modern crossbows at big historical poundages (1200lbs.)

Spearguns? I really have no idea. I can make a stat for increased penetration ( decreased resistance because the thing's so heavy and pointy) but it's really hard to find knowledge on this. Most fish hunts are a one-shot no matter what you use, and Nobody goes hunting for tiger sharks and wants to talk about it.



Also, Aquatic rifles (especially the assault kind) tends to be an eyebrow raiser. Crossbows/spearguns are fine in a lot of places.

Your point about the speargun was why i was going on about lethality. A speargun is highly dangerous even to large marine animals purely and simply because the amount of trauma as a percentage of body mass affected is so high. At the end of the day most of the stopping power of any kind of injury comes from the blood loss it causes due to the size and shape of the wound cavity. You can get a kill via outright destruction of the brain, or via denying someone's ability to breathe, but for traumatic injuries it;s generally going to be blood loss. Remove enough blood and there isn't enough to carry oxygen to the brain and somthing dies. You can also take out the heart which stops blood flow to the brain with the same results, hitting the major chest arteries will also effectively stop blood flow to the being generally speaking in addition to causing very rapid bleed out.

The thing about a speargun is well, it;s a few things.

First and foremost a bullet basically has to tear the flesh as it forces it out of it;s way as it passes through your body. A Speargun is typically sharpened, so it cuts flesh. That means it's much more efficient at getting the flesh to start moving out of it;s way. In addition for any projectile to pass through a solid material requires that the material be moved out of it;s way. The faster it has to be moved then more force is required.

This can be roughly expressed as:

F= M*(S/0.5T^2), where F is force, M is mass to be moved out of the way, T is time, S is distance. The bullets loss of velocity is (Mb/F)*T,, where Mb is bullet mass. And T can be roughly be said to get smaller in direct proportion to the increase in speed, meaning at twice the speed you get half the time resulting in S/0.5T^2 producing, (for a time value of less than 1 second), 4 times the value, meaning F is 4 times as large exerted over half the time and thus using twice the energy. Now thats not quite true in reality, there's a whole bunch of factors behind it but it's still generally true that a fast projectile is going to be more wasteful of energy. At the same time mass to be moved out of the way climbs with the diameter of the projectile resulting in wider but shallower wound tracts for the same energy.

And thats before we bring bullet deformation or shaping in which take all of this and make it extra messy.

In other words it's really complex. But the key thing to understand is that in general a slow heavy object is more energy efficient than a fast light one at pocking holes in things. Even accounting for the relatively high width of a spargun projectile that still amounts to a lot of gains and that means it can outperform things like handgun ammunition in terms of size of wound cavity.

Said larger wound cavity will bleed more and is more likely to catch a major organ, (different parts of the body bleed at different rates from the same size of wound), which increases the odds you'll cause massive bleeding thats rapidly fatal. A larger wound tract also means your more likely to catch somthing really important like a lung, the heart, big artery, whatever, and that will put them down faster if not near instantly.

Start bringing things like incendiary rounds, and explosive fragmentation stuff in and it gets even worse because the pure kinetic damage isn't so relevant any more, the blast pressure, thermal energy, and the thousands of smaller fragments producing thousands of small wound tracts throughout countless parts of the body come into play. Suddenly you've got an even vastly bigger main wound thats all but guaranteed to take out enough to be near instantly lethal and a followup of so many smaller wound tracts that even if you managed to not get anything vital with the initial wound tract your going to get somthing with all those fragments.

Brother Oni
2018-07-30, 05:05 PM
Even accounting for the relatively high width of a spargun projectile that still amounts to a lot of gains and that means it can outperform things like handgun ammunition in terms of size of wound cavity.

Said larger wound cavity will bleed more and is more likely to catch a major organ, (different parts of the body bleed at different rates from the same size of wound), which increases the odds you'll cause massive bleeding thats rapidly fatal. A larger wound tract also means your more likely to catch somthing really important like a lung, the heart, big artery, whatever, and that will put them down faster if not near instantly.


Mike_G will correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that a large sturdy projectile that doesn't go completely through will plug the wound, thus reducing the actual bleed rate. It's why first aid courses generally say not to remove any embedded foreign bodies in the casualty and use indirect pressure to reduce the bleeding.

Lemmy
2018-07-30, 05:29 PM
Mike_G will correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that a large sturdy projectile that doesn't go completely through will plug the wound, thus reducing the actual bleed rate. It's why first aid courses generally say not to remove any embedded foreign bodies in the casualty and use indirect pressure to reduce the bleeding.
Well... I don't know about arrows and stuff, but while the object can indeed reduce the bleeding, the main reason people are taught to not remove it is because most people aren't doctors or paramedics, and therefore will probably cause more damage if they try to remove the object, causing more harm than good. As a rule of thumb, you want to move/touch the patient as little as possible... Do what's necessary to keep them alive and safe, but wait for professionals to do the heavy work.

That said... First Aid is something that should be taught in schools and reviewed every year by every class. It can (and does) save lives!

Mr Beer
2018-07-30, 06:10 PM
As someone mentioned earlier, if you want comparative weapon lethality for RPG purposes, just get the information you want from GURPS. You can then use the GURPS engine or convert it back to whatever system you want.

A number of well informed writers have worked on converting weapons systems to RPG stats for decades to get to the point they are at now, I mean it's fine to reinvent the wheel if you want, it just seems pointless because it's already there.

GURPS can be quite crunchy, and you'd need a couple of books, but it's a lot easier to work out what the numbers mean than it is to go out and define all the weapons yourself.

EDIT

Also if you did use GURPS, it's an easy system to tweak your monsters to justify your preferred weapon systems. For example if werewolves have DR 20 (Flexible) and Extreme Regeneration, then big guns are looking a lot more important. If you give lasers Armour Divisor (5) and they also exploit the monsters Vulnerability: Fire, then suddenly it makes more sense to develop cutting edge battlefield lasers and lug around unwieldy one-shot powerpacks.

Carl
2018-07-30, 08:55 PM
Mike_G will correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that a large sturdy projectile that doesn't go completely through will plug the wound, thus reducing the actual bleed rate. It's why first aid courses generally say not to remove any embedded foreign bodies in the casualty and use indirect pressure to reduce the bleeding.

I fully expect him to step in as needed ;). I don;t claim to be a medical expert. I did consider adding a note that he'd correct any errors i made but forgot to do it.

And everything i mentioned completely forgets things like hydrostatic shock and the way a targets own bones can become shrapnel if struck by a bullet or the like.

@Mr Beer: I'd have to actually dig into GURPs to say with any degree of certitude but i'd be surprised if it uses concepts like DR and fast healing if it's very realistic. It's probably realistic within it's own frame of reference but probably not overall.

Thats kinda why i went of on a little lecture about how projectile injuries kill. There's an unconscious habit in most people to assume that it;s having bi holes in you and organs pulped that kills you. And whilst thats true in the most general sense, unless it;s a brain injury it's not really the hole or the pulping that kills you, it's the blood loss and/or interruption of blood flow to various body parts that kills you. And thats somthing thats key to understanding how dangerous something is to your bad guy. You do have to consider the type of supernatural durability somthing might have in that case. But even thats complicated because it depends on what if any of the laws of biology apply. A creature thats got super regeneration of flesh but only replaces blood at normal rates is going to be much easier to deal with than one that can replace blood as fast as it re-knits flesh wounds.

And even if they can replace blood, how fast do they heal, if it takes them a minute to heal up a deep slash then you can probably put them down in short order if you can inflict several such deep slashes in less than a minute as they'll bleed out well before they finish healing up. Unless of course their blood has supr clotting capabilities. For that matter unless they're capable of healing CNS damage a well placed shot into the brain is going to be a one hit kill on any ba guy, and if they can heal CNS damage of that magnitude quickly thn what is it about shooting them with X however many tiems that;'s lethal. Is it that they can only heal injuries of that type limited amount, (either due to injury type or what made the injury), is it that they ca only heal so much before they run out of gas to work with on their healing. Or something else.

All of this wildly affects how lethal any individual weapon is going to be. The durability works the same way. Can they outright bounce rounds with no more effect than a ping pong ball, (this is very, very bad btw), do only parts resist damage, or is it just something like a super strong skeletal structure, (a problem for IRL big game hunters. The really big game stopping rounds like the prior mentioned 0.577 Tyrannosaur exist because anything without major overkill potential can under the right circumstances deflect of the skull of large game), How your target resists damage has at least as much effect as what the round actually does.

Mike_G
2018-07-30, 10:38 PM
So...lots to unpack here.

Wounds are complicated.

First off, energy is a poor point of comparison unless you are talking similar projectiles. It take a lot less energy to push a pin into somebody than it does to push a pencil into them, because of shape, hardness, density, cross section and so on. It take exponentially more energy to push a soft, round projectile like a lead ball through something than to push a hard, sharp one like a steel arrowhead. This is why "X joules to penetrate Y" is only relevant if you are comparing like with like. "X joules for a lead ball to penetrate" would be less for a jacketed 5.56 round or a steel arrowhead.

Spear guns may have less energy than a bullet, but would probably penetrate pretty well, because of being sharp and hard, and having a lot of mass, which will give them a lot of momentum. A bus moving at 30 mph would probably crash through a wall better than a motorcycle moving at 60 because there's just so much more mass for the wall to stop.

How this all affects living tissue is a whole big set of variables. Sharp, heavy objects that penetrate like a spear would make a wound the width of the head, but the impaled object would fill the hole and prevent a lot of bleeding. But it would keep causing pain every time it was moved in the wound, so the victim would be hampered by that, depending on where it hit. A wide head wouldn't penetrate as far, but would cut more tissue and cause more bleeding. A round nosed lead bullet won't penetrate as far, but will dump more energy into the victim as a blunt shockwave, sending ripples through the tissue which is, after all, mostly water. This can create tissue and organ damage farther from the actual wound channel. High velocity rounds can cause cavitation in the tissue, which creates a very wide path of damage compared to the actual path of the bullet

The most important factor in how bad a wound is, is where it is, not how much energy or how wide a wound. And what type of tissue is hit matters. Muscle and bone and organs all have different densities and consistencies and react differently to different types of damage.

So, RPG damage is tough to quantify really. Bigger is more, faster is more. But I wouldn't just look at the muzzle energy of a pistol round, a rifle round and a spear gun and rank them like that.

Mr Beer
2018-07-30, 11:45 PM
@Mr Beer: I'd have to actually dig into GURPs to say with any degree of certitude but i'd be surprised if it uses concepts like DR and fast healing if it's very realistic. It's probably realistic within it's own frame of reference but probably not overall.

I can't verify how realistic it is because I'm not a weapons expert but the fact that creatures can have fantastical powers in the system really has no bearing on the accuracy of real world weapon stats.

VoxRationis
2018-07-31, 03:11 AM
The Wikipedia page "Infantry in the American Civil War" states without citation,

Casualty estimates compared with expended ammunition from battles indicate 1 casualty for every 250–300 shots discharged, not a dramatic improvement over Napoleonic casualty rates.
Does anyone know if this number is accurate or close to accurate? Whether the fighting is happening in 1800 or 1860, the concept is mind-boggling. If we're firing muzzle-loading muskets at a rate of a shot every 15 seconds, this implies that a soldier spent, on average, 62.5 to 75 minutes loading and firing for every casualty inflicted (and in fact, more often, because those casualties might well include combatants killed or wounded by artillery fire and melee combat). Even with gun smoke obscuring the battlefield, I can't imagine firing a gun, no matter how inaccurate, at a mass of people for an hour without hitting anybody.

Mike_G
2018-07-31, 04:32 AM
The Wikipedia page "Infantry in the American Civil War" states without citation,

Does anyone know if this number is accurate or close to accurate? Whether the fighting is happening in 1800 or 1860, the concept is mind-boggling. If we're firing muzzle-loading muskets at a rate of a shot every 15 seconds, this implies that a soldier spent, on average, 62.5 to 75 minutes loading and firing for every casualty inflicted (and in fact, more often, because those casualties might well include combatants killed or wounded by artillery fire and melee combat). Even with gun smoke obscuring the battlefield, I can't imagine firing a gun, no matter how inaccurate, at a mass of people for an hour without hitting anybody.

It's accurate.

Look at it like this. Most men weren't aiming at an enemy. They were pointing the muzzle in the general direction of the enemy. And you need to account for missfires, poorly loaded weapons, wet powder, the fact that smoke builds up very quickly with black powder weapons and obscures a lot of the battlefield, then add the negative effect of stress of being shot at to fine motor activity like aiming, the fact that the trajectory of the 19th century musket ball was pretty arced, so if you though the enemy was 100 yards away and aimed with that elevation but he was really 150 yards away, your ball would drop and hit the ground before it got to him, all that adds up.

Berenger
2018-07-31, 06:10 AM
[...] this implies that a soldier spent, on average, 62.5 to 75 minutes loading and firing for every casualty inflicted [...]

At first glance, I found that mind-boggling, too.

At second glance, a) battles can last for several hours and b) rarely end in death or grave injury for a majority of participants, even those on the losing side. This would hardly be possible if the average soldier killed an opposite number every few seconds or even every five minutes.

Conclusion: that "slow" kill rate must be the norm rather than an outlier for most historical battles.

Also: if one soldier needs 75 minutes to kill an enemy, a hundred soldiers need 45 seconds. Standing in a second formation of one hundred men with one of my relatives or neighbours going down each 45 seconds actually sounds terrifyingly fast .

Brother Oni
2018-07-31, 06:22 AM
The Wikipedia page "Infantry in the American Civil War" states without citation,

Does anyone know if this number is accurate or close to accurate? Whether the fighting is happening in 1800 or 1860, the concept is mind-boggling. If we're firing muzzle-loading muskets at a rate of a shot every 15 seconds, this implies that a soldier spent, on average, 62.5 to 75 minutes loading and firing for every casualty inflicted (and in fact, more often, because those casualties might well include combatants killed or wounded by artillery fire and melee combat). Even with gun smoke obscuring the battlefield, I can't imagine firing a gun, no matter how inaccurate, at a mass of people for an hour without hitting anybody.

Further to Mike_G's comments, this hasn't improved in the modern era. The most recent values from Iraq and Afghanistan by the US GAO are somewhere in the region of 250,000 rounds expended per insurgent killed.

Numbers from Vietnam indicate ~50,000 per NVA/VC kill, while snipers averaged about 3.

Note that these are kills (ie confirmed enemy bodies), not casualties. For example, the value for Vietnam is most likely significantly inflated as confirming NVA/VC dead was difficult at the best of times.

The modern numbers also don't distinguish between rounds fired at the enemy from any other use, eg during training.


Conclusion: that "slow" kill rate must be the norm rather than an outlier for most historical battles.

It's more likely due to averages - the two sides could spend a couple hours skirmishing and taking pot shots, resulting in no or minimal casualties, then either/both sides suffer massive losses during a forlorn hope charge or a storm on a fortification.

The Jack
2018-07-31, 06:33 AM
Well, right now I'm trying to compare shotguns.

Default rules lists a 12 guage buckshot as 8 damage.
Given trends in the default rules, this could use changing. Issue is, shotgun balistics are a nightmare. Buckshot's never measured and velocity seems to drop off very quickly.

I am not familiar with gurps, but I've had a look.
Gurps rules have both suggested x9 burst, 1d+1 (making burst rules would be alright were it not for already slow combat/automatic shotguns) other rules have suggested 4d for 12 gauge and 5d for 10 gauge... which would give me a 25% increase... if only I knew where my starting point was.

I know: Buckshot's an entirely different kind of wound, I don't know if they can be equaled to slugs, which are still very different from rifles

but for a simple game system, is a 12 gauge more comparable to
7.62x39 (7 die)
.308 (10 die)
30-06- (12 die)

at, say, 20 meters.

Vinyadan
2018-07-31, 06:55 AM
Sorry but Brother Oni hit the nail on the head, your asking us to justify your decisions and are proving remarkably resistant to people telling you your going at it arse bbackwards..

Tbh, I would be surprised if he'd been going arse forwards :P

VoxRationis
2018-07-31, 10:33 AM
Further to Mike_G's comments, this hasn't improved in the modern era. The most recent values from Iraq and Afghanistan by the US GAO are somewhere in the region of 250,000 rounds expended per insurgent killed.

Numbers from Vietnam indicate ~50,000 per NVA/VC kill, while snipers averaged about 3.

I would expect that, since we have automatic weapons nowadays and a doctrine of covering fire. I guess those old generals who thought that fast-firing weapons would just make people waste ammunition were right.


The modern numbers also don't distinguish between rounds fired at the enemy from any other use, eg during training.

It's more likely due to averages - the two sides could spend a couple hours skirmishing and taking pot shots, resulting in no or minimal casualties, then either/both sides suffer massive losses during a forlorn hope charge or a storm on a fortification.

I was wondering about that, if perhaps a significant amount of the reported ammunition expended was shot in a "Hey, you lot! Get away from the camp" sort of way. Could you give me some more examples of these kinds of "other uses" you allude to?

wolflance
2018-07-31, 11:50 AM
A quick question: Are medieval greaves and sabatons (of transitional armor ~ 16th century full plate) designed to be worn over boots? In particular riding boots.

Most artworks of knights in under-armor as well as "how to wear plate armor" demo videos depicts the knights wearing shoes instead of boots (as well as rather form-fitting pants/hoses), so I presume that it can't, but I asked anyway just to be extra sure.
I see my question got drowned out in the discussion so I figure I should bump it a little...


In the mean time, I have several other questions:

1) What is the typical caliber and range of swivel gun during 16 and 17th century ? Both breechloading and muzzleloading variety.
2) Does swivel gun outrange heavy musket (the kind that requires musket rest) of the time?

and

3) If musket outrange swivel gun, did warships of the period employ musketeers to "snipe" at enemy swivel gunner, or simply shoot at one another? or simply equip something like "swivel musket"?

Carl
2018-07-31, 12:17 PM
Tbh, I would be surprised if he'd been going arse forwards :P

Haha, yeah it's a weird turn of phrase to be fair.

Max_Killjoy
2018-07-31, 12:44 PM
While I'm finding this a fascinating read, I feel that I should remind people of the board rules (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/announcement.php?a=1) (specifically the religion and politics clauses) before a mod comes and nukes the thread like Mk-23 Katie shell.

I've been silently thinking the same thing for a while now.

Storm Bringer
2018-07-31, 12:45 PM
The Wikipedia page "Infantry in the American Civil War" states without citation,

Does anyone know if this number is accurate or close to accurate? Whether the fighting is happening in 1800 or 1860, the concept is mind-boggling. If we're firing muzzle-loading muskets at a rate of a shot every 15 seconds, this implies that a soldier spent, on average, 62.5 to 75 minutes loading and firing for every casualty inflicted (and in fact, more often, because those casualties might well include combatants killed or wounded by artillery fire and melee combat). Even with gun smoke obscuring the battlefield, I can't imagine firing a gun, no matter how inaccurate, at a mass of people for an hour without hitting anybody.


it sounds pretty accurate.

There is a huge difference between shooting on a range, in pleasant conditions, with time and room to aim properly, to shooting in a battle, where your packed in literally shoulder to should (i.e your shoulders are physically touching the guys next to you), you've been marching for weeks on meagre rations, and you cant even see the target though all the smoke beyond a occasional dull flash when they volley. this scene form The Last Sumuari (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QE3yMEfpk6E)captures the fear and how difficult it is to perform the complex drills to load aim and fire a musket while your body is full of adrenaline (the clip doesn't show it, but the man being asked to shoot just scored a bullseye before the clip started).


as others said, after the first volley, you were basically firing blind into a mass of smoke, often rushing to increase the volume of fire, and in a formation much to tight to comfortably aim. Add to that the fact that a flintlock is fired by having a small explosion go off right beside your ear, its not surprising that many people flinched when shooting. Another factor is that regular line infantry were trained to Load, not to shoot, so they just kinda levelled it at the direction they thought the enemy was and pulled the trigger.

also, muskets, even on a good day, were really inaccurate. Anyone who got hit at 100m was considered to be a act of god level stroke of bad luck.

Max_Killjoy
2018-07-31, 12:51 PM
It's accurate.

Look at it like this. Most men weren't aiming at an enemy. They were pointing the muzzle in the general direction of the enemy. And you need to account for missfires, poorly loaded weapons, wet powder, the fact that smoke builds up very quickly with black powder weapons and obscures a lot of the battlefield, then add the negative effect of stress of being shot at to fine motor activity like aiming, the fact that the trajectory of the 19th century musket ball was pretty arced, so if you though the enemy was 100 yards away and aimed with that elevation but he was really 150 yards away, your ball would drop and hit the ground before it got to him, all that adds up.

This gets odd when one considers the casualty rates for ACW battles... 10s of 1000s dead in some one-day battles.

My guess is that ACW-era artillery was really nasty against men marching across open ground. I do know that the Parrott gun battery from my hometown successfully held the end of a Union line more than once, against repeated TtMS Confederate attacks.

VoxRationis
2018-07-31, 01:16 PM
it sounds pretty accurate.

There is a huge difference between shooting on a range, in pleasant conditions, with time and room to aim properly, to shooting in a battle, where your packed in literally shoulder to should (i.e your shoulders are physically touching the guys next to you), you've been marching for weeks on meagre rations, and you cant even see the target though all the smoke beyond a occasional dull flash when they volley. this scene form The Last Sumuari (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QE3yMEfpk6E)captures the fear and how difficult it is to perform the complex drills to load aim and fire a musket while your body is full of adrenaline (the clip doesn't show it, but the man being asked to shoot just scored a bullseye before the clip started).


as others said, after the first volley, you were basically firing blind into a mass of smoke, often rushing to increase the volume of fire, and in a formation much to tight to comfortably aim. Add to that the fact that a flintlock is fired by having a small explosion go off right beside your ear, its not surprising that many people flinched when shooting.

also, muskets, even on a good day, were really inaccurate. Anyone who got hit at 100m was considered to be a act of god level stroke of bad luck.

But the enemy is also packed shoulder to shoulder. If you miss your direct target, you could hit the person to his left or right. If you overshoot, there's the company in reserve behind him. Sure, there's a lot of smoke around their position, but that smoke is still filled with several graduating classes' worth of people. When the battlefield has tens of thousands of enemies on it, not hitting somebody means you miss a target significantly larger than the broad side of a barn, and I find that difficult to fathom.


I do know that the Parrott gun battery from my hometown successfully held the end of a Union line more than once, against repeated TtMS Confederate attacks.

TtMS?

Max_Killjoy
2018-07-31, 01:30 PM
But the enemy is also packed shoulder to shoulder. If you miss your direct target, you could hit the person to his left or right. If you overshoot, there's the company in reserve behind him. Sure, there's a lot of smoke around their position, but that smoke is still filled with several graduating classes' worth of people. When the battlefield has tens of thousands of enemies on it, not hitting somebody means you miss a target significantly larger than the broad side of a barn, and I find that difficult to fathom.


From what I've read, those ACW formations open up pretty quickly in many of the battles, they don't stay pressed together, and there's a lot of not-target space for a bullet to pass through.




TtMS?



Treason to Maintain Slavery.

I'm very unforgiving of all the different garbage revisionist notions that have popped up about the ACW over the last ~150 years. The people who instigated and lead the Confederate movement should all have hung. It was treason, and it was about slavery.

Storm Bringer
2018-07-31, 01:47 PM
But the enemy is also packed shoulder to shoulder. If you miss your direct target, you could hit the person to his left or right. If you overshoot, there's the company in reserve behind him. Sure, there's a lot of smoke around their position, but that smoke is still filled with several graduating classes' worth of people. When the battlefield has tens of thousands of enemies on it, not hitting somebody means you miss a target significantly larger than the broad side of a barn, and I find that difficult to fathom.


I see what your getting at, buts its not every single solider on the other side was a potential target, just those in the line of fire for any given musket. Anyone more than 100-150 meters from the front line was out of musket range, and wouldn't get hit in a million shots, so the number of people a single bullet along its flight path could reach was only in the dozens at best, more likely four or five, and those in a very tight area. if you pulled the trigger early, or aimed high (apparently a significant problem at the time, with leaders sometimes telling the troops to aim at the knees in order to avoid it), it would sail over the target, or if you aimed low, then the shot would bury itself into the earth and that was that.

And since your effectively shooting blind into a wall of smoke 3 feet in front of you, with no reference marker to aim at, let alone a clear target, its quite easy to do. A trooper loading his musket had to break his aim and look away form the enemy for 20-30 seconds, so keeping a consistent point of aim was very difficult.

as for overshooting at hitting the next line, it could happen, but normally the lines were quite far apart, so they had room to manoeuvre, or if in column they were tight up behind the front line, and a shot that overshot the man in front would sail over there heads as well.


if you have time and a friend (or a spray can and a wall), try pacing out 100 meters, and seeing how large or small a human sized target is at that range. you'll find is not that much of a difference between aiming below their feet and aiming over their heads.



It might be hard to fathom, and it was noted incredulously at the time, but the bullets to death ratios were based on rounds expended and casualties sustained reported in the various supply and medical reports, and ive seen numbers like that repeated for several battles, all saying that 200-300 bullets were shot for every soldier wounded or killed.

edit: re reading this, I realise Ive come across much more arrogant than I was intending, so for that I apologise. what I meant by that last paragraph in particular is that this mismatch between shot and kills was remarked on at the time, but know one could explain it then either, only that armies would shoot hundreds of thousands of bullets at each other, but only a few thousand soldiers were recorded as being killed or wounded.

rrgg
2018-07-31, 02:27 PM
The Wikipedia page "Infantry in the American Civil War" states without citation,

Does anyone know if this number is accurate or close to accurate? Whether the fighting is happening in 1800 or 1860, the concept is mind-boggling. If we're firing muzzle-loading muskets at a rate of a shot every 15 seconds, this implies that a soldier spent, on average, 62.5 to 75 minutes loading and firing for every casualty inflicted (and in fact, more often, because those casualties might well include combatants killed or wounded by artillery fire and melee combat). Even with gun smoke obscuring the battlefield, I can't imagine firing a gun, no matter how inaccurate, at a mass of people for an hour without hitting anybody.

If anything that seems to be a high-end estimate. Period sources counting up the total amount of ammunition consumed over the course of a campaign often reckoned an even lower casualty rate per bullet fired.

This is a pretty good essay on the subject if you scroll down to the first Appendix, "A Memorandum on Infantry Fire", though the Author was primarily talking about infantry with rifled breach-loaders, not muzzle-loaders: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/7294/7294-h/7294-h.htm#link2H_APPE


6. Fire at Will—Its Efficacy

Thus fire at command, to-day as in the past, is impractical and consequently not actually used in battle. The only means employed are fire at will and the fire of skirmishers. Let us look into their efficacy.

Competent authorities have compiled statistics on this point.

Guibert thinks that not over two thousand men are killed or wounded by each million cartridges used in battle.

Gassendi assures us that of three thousand shots only one is a hit.

Piobert says that the estimate, based on the result of long wars, is that three to ten thousand cartridges are expended for each man hit.

To-day, with accurate and long range weapons, have things changed much? We do not think so. The number of bullets fired must be compared with the number of men dropped, with a deduction made for the action of artillery, which must be considered.

A German author has advanced the opinion that with the Prussian needle rifle the hits are 60% of the shots fired. But then how explain the disappointment of M. Dreyse, the happy inventor of the needle rifle, when he compared Prussian and Austrian losses. This good old gentleman was disagreeably astonished at seeing that his rifle had not come up to his expectations.


In ranks, fire at will is the only possible one for our officers and men. But with the excitement, the smoke, the annoying incidents, one is lucky to get even horizontal fire, to say nothing of aimed fire.

In fire at will, without taking count of any trembling, men interfere with each other. Whoever advances or who gives way to the recoil of his weapon deranges the shot of his neighbor. With full pack, the second rank has no loophole; it fires in the air. On the range, spacing men to the extremity of the limits of formation, firing very slowly, men are found who are cool and not too much bothered by the crack of discharge in their ears, who let the smoke pass and seize a loophole of pretty good visibility, who try, in a word, not to lose their shots. And the percentage results show much more regularity than with fire at command.

But in front of the enemy fire at will becomes in an instant haphazard fire. Each man fires as much as possible, that is to say, as badly as possible. There are physical and mental reasons why this is so.

Even at close range, in battle, the cannon can fire well. The gunner, protected in part by his piece, has an instant of coolness in which to lay accurately. That his pulse is racing does not derange his line of sight, if he has will power. The eye trembles little, and the piece once laid, remains so until fired.

The rifleman, like the gunner, only by will-power keeps his ability to aim. But the excitement in the blood, of the nervous system, opposes the immobility of the weapon in his hands. No matter how supported, a part of the weapon always shares the agitation of the man. He is instinctively in haste to fire his shot, which may stop the departure of the bullet destined for him. However lively the fire is, this vague reasoning, unformed as it is in his mind, controls with all the force of the instinct of self preservation. Even the bravest and most reliable soldiers then fire madly.

The greater number fire from the hip.

The theory of the range is that with continual pressure on the trigger the shot surprises the firer. But who practices it under fire?

However, the tendency in France to-day is to seek only accuracy. What good will it do when smoke, fog, darkness, long range, excitement, the lack of coolness, forbid clear sight?

It is hard to say, after the feats of fire at Sebastopol, in Italy, that accurate weapons have given us no more valuable service than a simple rifle. Just the same, to one who has seen, facts are facts. But—see how history is written. It has been set down that the Russians were beaten at Inkermann by the range and accuracy of weapons of the French troops. But the battle was fought in thickets and wooded country, in a dense fog. And when the weather cleared, our soldiers, our chasseurs were out of ammunition and borrowed from the Russian cartridge boxes, amply provided with cartridges for round, small calibered bullets. In either case there could have been no accurate fire. The facts are that the Russians were beaten by superior morale; that unaimed fire, at random, there perhaps more than elsewhere, had the only material effect.

When one fires and can only fire at random, who fires most hits most. Or perhaps it is better said that who fires least expects to be hit most.

Frederick was impressed with this, for he did not believe in the Potsdam maneuvers. The wily Fritz looked on fire as a means to quiet and occupy the undependable soldiers and it proved his ability that he could put into practice that which might have been a mistake on the part of any other general officer. He knew very well how to count on the effect of his fire, how many thousand cartridges it took to kill or wound an enemy. At first his soldiers had only thirty cartridges. He found the number insufficient, and after Mollwitz gave them sixty.

He does conclude that small groups of loose skirmishers or a single concealed sharpshooter could usually shoot a bit more accurately, but if they had to fight in small numbers they couldn't really do that much damage on their own. This seems to suggest to me that the improving rate of fire for the rifle (first the minie ball, then breachloading, bolt action, etc.), not it's accuracy alone, was the key to putting an end to dense formations.


The fire of skirmishers is then the most deadly used in war, because the few men who remain cool enough to aim are not otherwise annoyed while employed as skirmishers. They will perform better as they are better hidden, and better trained in firing.

The accuracy of fire giving advantages only in isolated fire, we may consider that accurate weapons will tend to make fighting by skirmishers more frequent and more decisive.

For the rest, experience authorizes the statement that the use of skirmishers is compulsory in war. To-day all troops seriously engaged become in an instant groups of skirmishers and the only possible precise fire is from hidden snipers.


However, let us not have illusions as to the efficacy of the fire of skirmishers. In spite of the use of accurate and long range weapons, in spite of all training that can be given the soldier, this fire never has more than a relative effect, which should not be exaggerated.

The fire of skirmishers is generally against skirmishers. A body of troops indeed does not let itself be fired on by skirmishers without returning a similar fire. And it is absurd to expect skirmishers to direct their fire on a body protected by skirmishers. To demand of troops firing individually, almost abandoned to themselves, that they do not answer the shots directed at them, by near skirmishers, but aim at a distant body, which is not harming them, is to ask an impossible unselfishness.

As skirmishers men are very scattered. To watch the adjustment of ranges is difficult. Men are practically left alone. Those who remain cool may try to adjust their range, but it is first necessary to see where your shots fall, then, if the terrain permits this and it will rarely do so, to distinguish them from shots fired at the same time by your neighbors. Also these men will be more disturbed, will fire faster and less accurately, as the fight is more bitter, the enemy stauncher; and perturbation is more contagious than coolness.

The target is a line of skirmishers, a target offering so little breadth and above all depth, that outside of point blank fire, an exact knowledge of the range is necessary to secure effect. This is impossible, for the range varies at each instant with the movements of the skirmishers.

Thus, with skirmishers against skirmishers, there are scattered shots at scattered targets. Our fire of skirmishers, marching, on the target range, proves this, although each man knows exactly the range and has time and the coolness to set his sights. It is impossible for skirmishers in movement to set sights beyond four hundred meters, and this is pretty extreme, even though the weapon is actually accurate beyond this.

Also, a shot is born. There are men, above all in officer instructors at firing schools, who from poor shots become excellent shots after years of practice. But it is impossible to give all the soldiers such an education without an enormous consumption of ammunition and without abandoning all other work. And then there would be no results with half of them.

To sum up, we find that fire is effective only at point blank. Even in our last wars there have been very few circumstances in which men who were favored with coolness and under able leadership have furnished exceptions. With these exceptions noted, we can say that accurate and long range weapons have not given any real effect at a range greater than point blank.

rrgg
2018-07-31, 04:29 PM
This gets odd when one considers the casualty rates for ACW battles... 10s of 1000s dead in some one-day battles.

My guess is that ACW-era artillery was really nasty against men marching across open ground. I do know that the Parrott gun battery from my hometown successfully held the end of a Union line more than once, against repeated TtMS Confederate attacks.

1 or 2 shots per minute with a musket can lead to a lot of bullets fired over the course of a day. USCW artillery likely did more damage than in earlier wars, but in pitched battles especially the large majority of casualties would still be caused by small arms just because you could have far more bullets flying through the air at any given point than cannon balls.

Artillery was still very slow to reload. It could do a ton of damage at a distance if the enemy stood still out in the open for a very long period of time, or at close range with cannister shot if fired at exactly the right moment, but estimating the correct range and elevation on unfamiliar terrain against a moving target was still extremely difficult to do. One of the biggest reasons that you see high-velocity smoothbore cannons used for so long alongside rifled cannons and howitzers is that on flat ground the round ball would skip back up and keep traveling for quite a ways below man-hight, meaning that you didn't have to be quite so exact when it came to estimating the range just right. The artillery certainly caused a lot of terror though either way.

One odd thing about the usefulness of artillery noted at least as far back as the 16th century is that it was often far more effective at stopping soldiers who attacked in very loose, skirmisher formations than in very dense, well-ordered blocks. When the men are packed shoulder to shoulder and have additional ranks behind them they feel as though they have no room to turn around or stop and can only be rushed forward. If they are spread far apart however they would be more likely to slow down or stop to shoot or else dive out of the way or duck for cover when the artillery starts firing, leading to those around them doing the same and bogging down the attack.

Gnoman
2018-07-31, 04:44 PM
Well, right now I'm trying to compare shotguns.

Default rules lists a 12 guage buckshot as 8 damage.
Given trends in the default rules, this could use changing. Issue is, shotgun balistics are a nightmare. Buckshot's never measured and velocity seems to drop off very quickly.

I am not familiar with gurps, but I've had a look.
Gurps rules have both suggested x9 burst, 1d+1 (making burst rules would be alright were it not for already slow combat/automatic shotguns) other rules have suggested 4d for 12 gauge and 5d for 10 gauge... which would give me a 25% increase... if only I knew where my starting point was.

I know: Buckshot's an entirely different kind of wound, I don't know if they can be equaled to slugs, which are still very different from rifles

but for a simple game system, is a 12 gauge more comparable to
7.62x39 (7 die)
.308 (10 die)
30-06- (12 die)

at, say, 20 meters.

Answering this requires a disgression into GURPS mechanics, because this is the basis for comparison.

The reason shotgun damage is listed as it is in GURPS is because it quite literally models individual pellets. In GURPS, it doesn't matter how many bullets you fire in a single attack, you always get exactly one to hit roll (but a damage roll for each hit). A sufficient number of rounds fired gives you a bonus to effective skill, and the number of hits you land is based solely on how much you beat the target's defense roll by. A 12 Gauge shogun firing buckshot does 1d+1 pi- (pi-, or small piercing, halves damage after penetration). Slugs have 4x the pellet damage, and damage type changes to pi++ (Large piercing, doubles damage after penetration), so a 12 gauge shotgun in this system does 4d6+4 damage with slugs, and any damage that gets through armor is doubled. With shot, it does up to 9 hits of 1d6+1, half damage after penetration. Because you get a to-hit bonus when firing shot, there is a very good chance of getting multiple hits, but that's a little deeper than we need to go. Just think of it as (1d6+1)*1d9 for now.


By comparison, here are the GURPS values for the calibers in question:

7.62x39 5d+1 pi (no wounding modifier)
.308 7d pi
30-06 7d+1 pi

In other words, a shotgun firing slugs has lower base damage than any of the rifles, but a far better damage modifier (this is done to reflect that the rifle rounds will penetrate armor much better, while the shotgun slug will do better against flesh), while the shot has the potential for higher base damage than any of them but has a terrible wounding modifier (and is also terrible against armor, because each pellet has a seperate damage roll and is affected individually by armor or other damage reduction).

Epimethee
2018-08-01, 02:17 AM
I see my question got drowned out in the discussion so I figure I should bump it a little...



Saw it, wanted to answer and failed. So on the top of my head, you want the most protection you can have, even more on a horse. (As an aside Fashion tended to follow military practices). You have even the «*soleret «* a special armored shoe.

Later, around XVI -XVII century would you find armors with boots, like the famous Richelieu in La Rochelle here: http://www.musee-armee.fr/ExpoMousquetaires/louisxiii-et-richelieu.html

( the illustrations below show the armors of Louis XIII and the Cardinal)

VoxRationis
2018-08-02, 12:44 AM
edit: re reading this, I realise Ive come across much more arrogant than I was intending, so for that I apologise. what I meant by that last paragraph in particular is that this mismatch between shot and kills was remarked on at the time, but know one could explain it then either, only that armies would shoot hundreds of thousands of bullets at each other, but only a few thousand soldiers were recorded as being killed or wounded.
No offense was taken. I said explicitly that I found the concept difficult to come to grips with.

If anything that seems to be a high-end estimate. Period sources counting up the total amount of ammunition consumed over the course of a campaign often reckoned an even lower casualty rate per bullet fired.

This is a pretty good essay on the subject if you scroll down to the first Appendix, "A Memorandum on Infantry Fire", though the Author was primarily talking about infantry with rifled breach-loaders, not muzzle-loaders: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/7294/7294-h/7294-h.htm#link2H_APPE

He does conclude that small groups of loose skirmishers or a single concealed sharpshooter could usually shoot a bit more accurately, but if they had to fight in small numbers they couldn't really do that much damage on their own. This seems to suggest to me that the improving rate of fire for the rifle (first the minie ball, then breachloading, bolt action, etc.), not it's accuracy alone, was the key to putting an end to dense formations.

Why does he say that firing on command wouldn't work? I thought that was standard practice.


Artillery was still very slow to reload. It could do a ton of damage at a distance if the enemy stood still out in the open for a very long period of time, or at close range with cannister shot if fired at exactly the right moment, but estimating the correct range and elevation on unfamiliar terrain against a moving target was still extremely difficult to do. One of the biggest reasons that you see high-velocity smoothbore cannons used for so long alongside rifled cannons and howitzers is that on flat ground the round ball would skip back up and keep traveling for quite a ways below man-hight, meaning that you didn't have to be quite so exact when it came to estimating the range just right. The artillery certainly caused a lot of terror though either way.

So what does cause the enormous death rates that we do see, then?

wolflance
2018-08-02, 01:09 AM
Saw it, wanted to answer and failed. So on the top of my head, you want the most protection you can have, even more on a horse. (As an aside Fashion tended to follow military practices). You have even the «*soleret «* a special armored shoe.

Later, around XVI -XVII century would you find armors with boots, like the famous Richelieu in La Rochelle here: http://www.musee-armee.fr/ExpoMousquetaires/louisxiii-et-richelieu.html

( the illustrations below show the armors of Louis XIII and the Cardinal)
Ah, I was meant to ask whether plate leg armor (greaves + sabatons) was worn "over" boots. To illustrate my point further, here's a picture of a knight before he put on his armor:

https://i.imgur.com/G8X9pGg.jpg


Notice that he is wearing shoes, not boots. Given that knights ride often, I find this quite unusual (shoes aren't the safest option to ride with).

Carl
2018-08-02, 01:10 AM
Answering this requires a disgression into GURPS mechanics, because this is the basis for comparison.

The reason shotgun damage is listed as it is in GURPS is because it quite literally models individual pellets. In GURPS, it doesn't matter how many bullets you fire in a single attack, you always get exactly one to hit roll (but a damage roll for each hit). A sufficient number of rounds fired gives you a bonus to effective skill, and the number of hits you land is based solely on how much you beat the target's defense roll by. A 12 Gauge shogun firing buckshot does 1d+1 pi- (pi-, or small piercing, halves damage after penetration). Slugs have 4x the pellet damage, and damage type changes to pi++ (Large piercing, doubles damage after penetration), so a 12 gauge shotgun in this system does 4d6+4 damage with slugs, and any damage that gets through armor is doubled. With shot, it does up to 9 hits of 1d6+1, half damage after penetration. Because you get a to-hit bonus when firing shot, there is a very good chance of getting multiple hits, but that's a little deeper than we need to go. Just think of it as (1d6+1)*1d9 for now.


By comparison, here are the GURPS values for the calibers in question:

7.62x39 5d+1 pi (no wounding modifier)
.308 7d pi
30-06 7d+1 pi

In other words, a shotgun firing slugs has lower base damage than any of the rifles, but a far better damage modifier (this is done to reflect that the rifle rounds will penetrate armor much better, while the shotgun slug will do better against flesh), while the shot has the potential for higher base damage than any of them but has a terrible wounding modifier (and is also terrible against armor, because each pellet has a seperate damage roll and is affected individually by armor or other damage reduction).

Also bear in mind those values will be for standard shot and slug, there exist a wide variety of variant ammo's on both concepts and potentially there's room for a lot more, (there's a lot of ammo types that would be possibble that are functionally illegal to own as a civilian and that the military has little interest in due to their low usage of shotguns and high usage of alternatives).

jayem
2018-08-02, 01:19 AM
So what does cause the enormous death rates that we do see, then?
Lots of people?
Over both sides the mode&median number of combatants killed by a soldier is always going to be less than the mean. The mean is never going to be more than 1 (and at small skirmishes like the BullRuns it's about 2%).
So that's at least 44 people achieving 'nothing', four causing injuries and one person achieving one 'kill' despite being busy doing stuff.

Epimethee
2018-08-02, 02:27 AM
Ah, I was meant to ask whether plate leg armor (greaves + sabatons) was worn "over" boots. To illustrate my point further, here's a picture of a knight before he put on his armor:

https://i.imgur.com/euocZxk.jpg


Notice that he is wearing shoes, not boots. Given that knights ride often, I find this quite unusual (shoes aren't the safest option to ride with).

I can’t see the picture and i am currently abroad so my books are not with me but i think you may be Talking about this: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hose_(clothing)

Carl
2018-08-02, 03:11 AM
There dosen;t appear to be a picture there, looks like he forgot to paste the link.

wolflance
2018-08-02, 04:27 AM
Hmm, odd, because I did post the picture. I will repost it here in link format though.


https://i.imgur.com/G8X9pGg.jpg

snowblizz
2018-08-02, 06:00 AM
In the mean time, I have several other questions:

1) What is the typical caliber and range of swivel gun during 16 and 17th century ? Both breechloading and muzzleloading variety.
2) Does swivel gun outrange heavy musket (the kind that requires musket rest) of the time?

and

3) If musket outrange swivel gun, did warships of the period employ musketeers to "snipe" at enemy swivel gunner, or simply shoot at one another? or simply equip something like "swivel musket"?
I think it's hard to say much about typical in a time anf about things that had absolutely no standardisation. Most swivel guns I've seen were short ranged ( and shortbarrelled), essenitally close defence weapons, very much like a shotgun. Which is how they'd be used, as deckclearers for short range. You can't really aim with them like with a musket.

Any musket would likely outrange a swivel gun in aimed fire. Ships did employ snipers, it is what famously killed Nelson at Trafalgar. I'm not sure they'd particulalry target swivelgunners, any such snipers, and there'd be few, firing from the rigging and places such as the crowsnest, would look for targets of opportunity. Like ship's officers.


A quick question: Are medieval greaves and sabatons (of transitional armor ~ 16th century full plate) designed to be worn over boots? In particular riding boots.

Most artworks of knights in under-armor as well as "how to wear plate armor" demo videos depicts the knights wearing shoes instead of boots (as well as rather form-fitting pants/hoses), so I presume that it can't, but I asked anyway just to be extra sure.

Notice that he is wearing shoes, not boots. Given that knights ride often, I find this quite unusual (shoes aren't the safest option to ride with).
I had a poke around some Osprey books and in short, when you wear armour you wear stuff under designed to be worn under armour. That does not include riding boots. In fact it wouldn't surprise me if the classic ridingboot was developed *after* the full armour period precisely because you are no longer armoured as much (at least in oue western knight-horseman-rider context). I'm not am expert of medieval clothing but the footwear of the middleages as far as I can tell from imagery is much closer to slipperlike shoes that can easily be covered by armoured plates. A knight starts armouring from the feet upwards, while we ar eused of thinking of ti the other way. That will impact the type of fotowear/armour used. I have no doubts you could conceivably create armour intop of boots, but the progression of armouring went the other way it seems.

Why wouldn't shoes be safe to ride with? Mankind has ridden without and with shoes far longer than riding boots. And I wager the latter people were far less successful than the former usually.

Brother Oni
2018-08-02, 06:34 AM
Hmm, odd, because I did post the picture. I will repost it here in link format though.


https://i.imgur.com/G8X9pGg.jpg

Imgur has blocked all hotlinking. If you copy and paste the address into your browser, then it will display properly and since the image is now cached, the link and image will work.

Perversely, clicking the link above without manually copying and pasting the address first, will hit you with a 403 Forbidden error.

Sometimes computers can be as frustrating and esoteric as medieval texts...

Storm Bringer
2018-08-02, 06:42 AM
No offense was taken. I said explicitly that I found the concept difficult to come to grips with.


Why does he say that firing on command wouldn't work? I thought that was standard practice.



So what does cause the enormous death rates that we do see, then?

it was standard practice, but, firing on command didn't work, mainly because the troops, in the heat of battle, didn't hold their fire once given permission to start shooting. "hat tended to happen was the officer would give the order to start shooting, then every man would just start loading and firing at his own best pace, rather than loading and waiting for the officer to order the next volley (ie it became fire at will).


its not hard to understand the reasons why a man, under fire, with a loaded weapon, would think it stupid to wait until the last man in his unit was loaded before he shot. the officers in the field didn't try to control this behaviour, partly because it wasn't really possible to stop it without breaking unit cohesion, but moreso because they wanted the unit to generate as much fire as possible, and volley fire was always as slow as the slowest loading man, so it made tactical sense to just let the troops fire at will.

Brother Oni
2018-08-02, 10:01 AM
it was standard practice, but, firing on command didn't work, mainly because the troops, in the heat of battle, didn't hold their fire once given permission to start shooting. "hat tended to happen was the officer would give the order to start shooting, then every man would just start loading and firing at his own best pace, rather than loading and waiting for the officer to order the next volley (ie it became fire at will).


its not hard to understand the reasons why a man, under fire, with a loaded weapon, would think it stupid to wait until the last man in his unit was loaded before he shot. the officers in the field didn't try to control this behaviour, partly because it wasn't really possible to stop it without breaking unit cohesion, but moreso because they wanted the unit to generate as much fire as possible, and volley fire was always as slow as the slowest loading man, so it made tactical sense to just let the troops fire at will.

Out of curiosity, how does this mesh with the countermarch (ie the front rank retreats to reload) and firing by ranks? Did they result in a best of both worlds (ie rapid fire with fire discipline) or the worst (poor rate of fire and poor unit cohesion)?

wolflance
2018-08-02, 10:34 AM
I think it's hard to say much about typical in a time anf about things that had absolutely no standardisation. Most swivel guns I've seen were short ranged ( and shortbarrelled), essenitally close defence weapons, very much like a shotgun. Which is how they'd be used, as deckclearers for short range. You can't really aim with them like with a musket.

Any musket would likely outrange a swivel gun in aimed fire. Ships did employ snipers, it is what famously killed Nelson at Trafalgar. I'm not sure they'd particulalry target swivelgunners, any such snipers, and there'd be few, firing from the rigging and places such as the crowsnest, would look for targets of opportunity. Like ship's officers.

I had a poke around some Osprey books and in short, when you wear armour you wear stuff under designed to be worn under armour. That does not include riding boots. In fact it wouldn't surprise me if the classic ridingboot was developed *after* the full armour period precisely because you are no longer armoured as much (at least in oue western knight-horseman-rider context). I'm not am expert of medieval clothing but the footwear of the middleages as far as I can tell from imagery is much closer to slipperlike shoes that can easily be covered by armoured plates. A knight starts armouring from the feet upwards, while we ar eused of thinking of ti the other way. That will impact the type of fotowear/armour used. I have no doubts you could conceivably create armour intop of boots, but the progression of armouring went the other way it seems.
This does seems very logical and agree with what I had in mind, although I think boots were used during the mail armor era.



Why wouldn't shoes be safe to ride with? Mankind has ridden without and with shoes far longer than riding boots. And I wager the latter people were far less successful than the former usually.
While riding naked on a naked horse is certainly doable, most riders still prefer better equipment for comfort and safety. A pair of good riding boots reduce the risk of getting one's foot stuck in the stirrup or slip away from it, protect the ankle if the rider accidentally fall from the horse, and protect one's foot if the horse happens to step on it.

Most of these wouldn't be an issue if the knight was armored (greaves and sabatons are very protective), although knights did ride unarmored quite often (peacetime, scouting etc). I wonder if they brought an extra pair of boots during campaign for unarmored riding...



Imgur has blocked all hotlinking. If you copy and paste the address into your browser, then it will display properly and since the image is now cached, the link and image will work.

Perversely, clicking the link above without manually copying and pasting the address first, will hit you with a 403 Forbidden error.

Sometimes computers can be as frustrating and esoteric as medieval texts...
Ahh, any suggestion on what image hosting site I should use?

Max_Killjoy
2018-08-02, 11:00 AM
Image hosting sites in general are getting more onerous... they don't make their clicky eyeball money if people look at the images on other sites.

Aneurin
2018-08-02, 12:00 PM
No offense was taken. I said explicitly that I found the concept difficult to come to grips with.


Why does he say that firing on command wouldn't work? I thought that was standard practice.

At a guess it means that volley fire doesn't increase the number of hits per shot? However, being on the receiving end of a volley must be terrifying. The psychological impact of frequent, disciplined bursts of fire has got to be significant as well as the impact of watching your enemy maintain discipline.

However, the article in question is talking about breach-loading weapons (and I'm more familiar with the muzzle-loading ones of the Napoleonic Wars). It could well be that massed fire was coming to an end by the US Civil War - maybe rattle off a few volleys for the shock of it, and go to individual fire so as to maintain a high stress situation for an opposing formation. The improved reload speed of the breach would make that more viable than it would have been for the slow muzzle loaders.



So what does cause the enormous death rates that we do see, then?

Melees? Infantry and cavalry charges and, of course, cavalry running down broken formations. There's also self-inflicted casualties, when a formation panics and routs and tramples its own while trying to flee - especially in a confined space.

I'm not sure how these figures are being calculated. They could be adding death by disease and wounds gone bad to the fatalities, though I doubt that.

Galloglaich
2018-08-02, 01:42 PM
I see my question got drowned out in the discussion so I figure I should bump it a little...

A quick question: Are medieval greaves and sabatons (of transitional armor ~ 16th century full plate) designed to be worn over boots? In particular riding boots.

Most artworks of knights in under-armor as well as "how to wear plate armor" demo videos depicts the knights wearing shoes instead of boots (as well as rather form-fitting pants/hoses), so I presume that it can't, but I asked anyway just to be extra sure.

Not sure of the answer of this one so I'll pass to those who know more about armor. I know that later 17th Century armor was indeed worn with riding boots.




In the mean time, I have several other questions:

1) What is the typical caliber and range of swivel gun during 16 and 17th century ? Both breechloading and muzzleloading variety.

Caliber tended to be 'medium', anywhere from around 40mm up to maybe 100mm, with 50-75mm probably being typical. 2" to 3".

Range depended on the type of ammunition and barrel length. Shot, like buckshot used in a modern shotgun, had a limited range of roughly 50-100 meters depending on the size of the cannon, with an enhanced 'to-hit' potential as the shot expands out in a cone shape. They could also shoot stone or iron balls which had a much longer actual range, but limited accuracy. Say up to 500 -700 meters depending on the length of the gun barrel.

The length does make a big difference, so for example the bronze gun on the top in this pic

http://media.liveauctiongroup.net/i/28542/24908437_1.jpg?v=8D39D18E62A26F0

would have a much better range potential than the iron gun in this pic

https://lakeimagesweb.artic.edu/iiif/2/adec0dc6-8ba3-d104-ef93-69ba8c45d642/full/!800,800/0/default.jpg

A lot of time the tradeoff would be between power or impact vs. accuracy and range. A lot of times the more accurate ones would be of relatively smaller caliber (possibly at a higher velocity). Note how slim this 19th Century one is for example:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0e/USA_30mm_1890_steel_rifled_breech_loading_swivel_g un_captured_in_Madagascar_in_1898_length_230cm.jpg/170px-USA_30mm_1890_steel_rifled_breech_loading_swivel_g un_captured_in_Madagascar_in_1898_length_230cm.jpg

The caliber on that one is only 30mm. But it would probably be accurate enough for a skilled gunner to pick off human sized targets (like the crew of other guns) from 400 meters away or more.



2) Does swivel gun outrange heavy musket (the kind that requires musket rest) of the time?

The longer barreled ones would, yes.

and



3) If musket outrange swivel gun, did warships of the period employ musketeers to "snipe" at enemy swivel gunner, or simply shoot at one another? or simply equip something like "swivel musket"?

All of the above.

G

rrgg
2018-08-02, 02:22 PM
No offense was taken. I said explicitly that I found the concept difficult to come to grips with.


Why does he say that firing on command wouldn't work? I thought that was standard practice.

It's perhaps a bit of an exaggeration to say it was completely impossible, but it would require the soldiers to have extremely good discipline and extremely good morale to wait for their commander to say 'fire' when their finger is already on the trigger and as du Picq says: "He is instinctively in haste to fire his shot, which may stop the departure of the bullet destined for him. However lively the fire is, this vague reasoning, unformed as it is in his mind, controls with all the force of the instinct of self preservation."

As Storm Bringer points out there are potential disadvantages to volley fire and you actually do see quite a bit of back and forth debate on the best ways to conduct infantry fire throughout the early modern period. In favor of fire-at-will it allowed for a higher overall rate of fire if the fastest shooters didn't have to wait for the slowest shooters to finish reloading, it potentially allowed each shooter to aim and pull the trigger at his own pace for more accuracy, and it demanded far less of the soldiers overall. In favor of volley fire it could produce a far greater psycological effect, and many argued that, when the soldiers instinct was to load and shoot as fast as possible, forcing them to slow down a bit was a good thing so that they made fewer mistakes while reloading and would be more likely to at least level their weapon all the way before pulling the trigger.

In either case the officers usually didn't have a choice, and most troops would be capable of just one or two massed volleys before devolving into fire at will. This is one of the reasons that it was often preferred to get as close as possible to the enemy before firing the first volley, in addition to the fact that the soldiers' first bullet would be the only one loaded at leisure and thus the least likely to misfire.

As an aside, I sort of suspect that volley fire was more feasible in the 16th-17th centuries when musketeers frequently used formations 6, 10, or even more ranks deep and each rank had to physically march to the very rear before reloading. Though this was relatively inefficient and a very tiring way to fight, Thomas Styward in 1581 suggested that the shot actually preferred to fight this way since it meant they only had to endure danger in the front very briefly at any one time before retreating to the relative safety of the rear. By the end of the 17th century though when rate of fire improved to the point where it was much quicker to have just 3 or so ranks fire and reload in place, this system was no longer any use however.

Even in the 16th century though you can find military theorists who were skeptical about using shot in massed formations and volley fire, and instead recommended that it would be better to divide large bodies of shot into many small squads who could march in front of the army, spread out, and then skirmish using any available cover. Once the skirmishers grew tired or ran out of ammo they could retreat to the rear to resupply while other squads of skirmishers took their place

https://i.imgur.com/tHyrAgU.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/tHyrAgU.jpg

In either case the rule of thumb does seem to have been that even early arquebusiers were strongest in small skirmishes and weakest in large, pitched battles. A single arquebusier might more likely than not stop a single pikeman, but there was no way that 5000 arquebusiers could do enough damage to rout 5000 charging pikemen without help.


So what does cause the enormous death rates that we do see, then?

Mostly soldiers standing there, randomly shooting at each other for long periods of time.

Individual battles during the USCW weren't particularly more bloody than the Napoleonic wars. There's a whole school of thought which holds that the main reasons the Civil War turned into such a bloody slugfest have more to do with the lack of a very large, agressive cavalry corps and the lack of experienced/well-trained troops and officers in general on both sides. The total size of the US professional army was in the thousands before the war began and had to quickly increase to include millions. It took very disciplined troops and skilled officers to properly conduct an assault against fortified positions and cannon fire without losing their nerve during the approach. And even when victory was gained, the lack of sufficient cavalry to pursue or cut off their escape made it easy for the rest of the army to simply retreat and regroup.

Edit: it seems that I can still see the embedded imgur images on my laptop but not on my phone. I guess I'll be adding regular links as well for now.

Tobtor
2018-08-03, 01:39 AM
So Back from hollyday. If I missed anything in a discussion directed at me I apologize for not answering.


This does seems very logical and agree with what I had in mind, although I think boots were used during the mail armor era.


Boots yes, "riding"-boots no. See below


While riding naked on a naked horse is certainly doable, most riders still prefer better equipment for comfort and safety. A pair of good riding boots reduce the risk of getting one's foot stuck in the stirrup or slip away from it, protect the ankle if the rider accidentally fall from the horse, and protect one's foot if the horse happens to step on it.

Note that while we do have boots in the medieval period, high heels was unknown/uncommon in medieval Europe (all sources I see says it was a eastern steppe thing or persian invention). Heeled boots and shoes was introduced to Europe during the 16th and 17th century as I understand it. So the boots would have the same flat sole as the shoes and thus not provide much in terms of better grip in the stirrup. Also medieval preserved boots have less ankle protection than modern riding boots.


Most of these wouldn't be an issue if the knight was armored (greaves and sabatons are very protective), although knights did ride unarmored quite often (peacetime, scouting etc). I wonder if they brought an extra pair of boots during campaign for unarmored riding...


I think knight would bring lots of stuff. However, as medieval clothing is quickly gets hot in summer, I think many would have preferred shoes in the summer, as the boots are typically not giving better grip nor much improved ankle support. Instead I think medieval boots are mainly for not getting you clothing dirty/wet when walking outside.

Storm Bringer
2018-08-03, 02:22 AM
Out of curiosity, how does this mesh with the countermarch (ie the front rank retreats to reload) and firing by ranks? Did they result in a best of both worlds (ie rapid fire with fire discipline) or the worst (poor rate of fire and poor unit cohesion)?

as far as I know, they stopped countermarching before the time period I am more fammilar with. It was something done more with the older, slower matchlock guns, and one of the advantages of the flintlock system was that it sped up loading* to the point were the formation could change to a wider but thinner one that maximised the number of guns that could fire at once.

firing by ranks, fire by platoon (where the fire would "roll" down the line, each half-company making ready as the previous platoon fired) and other tactics were tried and taught, but they rapidly degenerated into a "running fire" or fire at will after the second or third shot, unless the troops had exceptional discipline. Apparently, some troops were taught to swap their empty muskets with loaded ones form the rear ranks, but every commentator I have read dismisses this as a pure fantasy In battle (no one would give up their loaded musket, and thus their own agency and ability to have some control over their own fate, in battle). however it did happen in some situations, notably sieges or when firing behind cover, where several men might load for a single sharpshooter, to give him a constant supply of loaded guns.


*to give you a quick idea, the loading drill in the English civil war had 32 separate words of command or steps, while the loading drill for a Napoleonic war musket was something like 12. by the American civil war, the use of precussion caps had brought it down to 9 steps (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cWh3w9atTw). a lot of the problem with the matchlock was the fact that you were juggling a lit match in one hand and pouring loose gunpowder in the other, so a large degree of caution was in order.

rrgg
2018-08-03, 02:33 AM
I see my question got drowned out in the discussion so I figure I should bump it a little...


In the mean time, I have several other questions:

1) What is the typical caliber and range of swivel gun during 16 and 17th century ? Both breechloading and muzzleloading variety.
2) Does swivel gun outrange heavy musket (the kind that requires musket rest) of the time?

and

3) If musket outrange swivel gun, did warships of the period employ musketeers to "snipe" at enemy swivel gunner, or simply shoot at one another? or simply equip something like "swivel musket"?

Galloglaich posted examples of some larger guns, but swivel guns or wall guns such as the "arquebus a croc" could go all the way down to musket size, in fact the earliest iteration of the "musket" was likely just a relatively small wall gun which someone decided to give to an infantryman along with a forked rest to help support the weight. The arquebus a crocs in Maximilian's army were supposedly bored to fire an 6-guage bullet, or 2.66 ounces.

https://i.imgur.com/2TfGAUT.jpg

https://imgur.com/a/HvmUM

In John Cruso's 1639 book The Art of War he includes the wagon-mounted arquebus a croc among the types of artillery, mentioning that it fired a 3 oz bullet with 2 oz of powder and could be fired 300 times per day or 25 times per hour.

wolflance
2018-08-03, 02:58 AM
Note that while we do have boots in the medieval period, high heels was unknown/uncommon in medieval Europe (all sources I see says it was a eastern steppe thing or persian invention). Heeled boots and shoes was introduced to Europe during the 16th and 17th century as I understand it. So the boots would have the same flat sole as the shoes and thus not provide much in terms of better grip in the stirrup. Also medieval preserved boots have less ankle protection than modern riding boots.
Thanks for the answer (and Galloglaich & snowblizz & Epimethee & rrgg too, I forget to thank y'all in my previous replies)

Even without specialized riding design (heels , ankle support), the taller shafts of the boots alone can help greatly with comfort and reduce stirrup-related injuries.

I am surprised that they didn't develop it earlier/at all though, given that knight's method of warfare involves a lot more shock and impact than cavalry of steppe/Persia, and (presumably) at a higher risk of slipping through and stuck/slipping away from stirrup.

The Mongols rode with flat boots, so presumably they weren't the one to come up with the heeled riding boots idea.



I think medieval boots are mainly for not getting you clothing dirty/wet when walking outside.
That's actually still one of the primary reasons of wearing (modern) riding boots, I've been told.



By the end of the 17th century though when rate of fire improved to the point where it was much quicker to have just 3 or so ranks fire and reload in place, this system was no longer any use however.
As far as I am aware the firelock design didn't improve that much between 16-17 century (still matchlock), what makes the firing rate better in the late 17th century?

Gnoman
2018-08-03, 04:26 AM
As far as I am aware the firelock design didn't improve that much between 16-17 century (still matchlock), what makes the firing rate better in the late 17th century?

The "true" flintlock was invented in the early 17th century (the best estimate places it between 1610 and 1615), and rendered the matchlock almost militarily extinct by the late 17th century (matchlocks remained in limited use until 1720 due to large supplies and the impossibility of conversion, but this was considered to be a compromise). Other innovations, such as the rise of pre-measured powder charges, also contributed.

Tobtor
2018-08-03, 05:56 AM
I am surprised that they didn't develop it earlier/at all though, given that knight's method of warfare involves a lot more shock and impact than cavalry of steppe/Persia, and (presumably) at a higher risk of slipping through and stuck/slipping away from stirrup.


Soem invention that seem so simple are very slow to be invented. Remember that whenever they are figthing as shock cavalry they would presumably be armoured. Thus the armour would have provided the support for the legs. When not going to war, they could use normal boots or shoes depending on what they where doing. Like many hunting depictions show them wearing log legged soft boots (though pictures of hunters with very light shoes also exists), likely also practical if you had to get off in the forrest to kill off the animal or gather your prey etc, while if you where riding to town or neighbours you might have preferred lighter footwear.

There is also likely differences across regions and time as the medieval is a long period.

Fo example at the Bayeux tapestry the foot seem to be a different colour than the legs (indicating shoes) for both warfare and hunting.

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/71/c2/50/71c250caeb89f194f6f90f857e52bc44.jpg

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/66/39/95/6639959cd27b2f546b160284aeb58653.jpg

Likely they whore some kind of padding on the legs (heavy cloth wrapped around the leg) when going to battle.

rrgg
2018-08-03, 11:56 AM
as far as I know, they stopped countermarching before the time period I am more fammilar with. It was something done more with the older, slower matchlock guns, and one of the advantages of the flintlock system was that it sped up loading* to the point were the formation could change to a wider but thinner one that maximised the number of guns that could fire at once.

firing by ranks, fire by platoon (where the fire would "roll" down the line, each half-company making ready as the previous platoon fired) and other tactics were tried and taught, but they rapidly degenerated into a "running fire" or fire at will after the second or third shot, unless the troops had exceptional discipline. Apparently, some troops were taught to swap their empty muskets with loaded ones form the rear ranks, but every commentator I have read dismisses this as a pure fantasy In battle (no one would give up their loaded musket, and thus their own agency and ability to have some control over their own fate, in battle). however it did happen in some situations, notably sieges or when firing behind cover, where several men might load for a single sharpshooter, to give him a constant supply of loaded guns.


*to give you a quick idea, the loading drill in the English civil war had 32 separate words of command or steps, while the loading drill for a Napoleonic war musket was something like 12. by the American civil war, the use of precussion caps had brought it down to 9 steps (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cWh3w9atTw). a lot of the problem with the matchlock was the fact that you were juggling a lit match in one hand and pouring loose gunpowder in the other, so a large degree of caution was in order.

Sir James Turner compared a couple different types of volley fire in 1671.

The first type of countermarch he mentioned involved the entire first rank filing off to the edge of the formation in a line and circling around to the rear. This allowed for a denser formation and made things very simple on the practice field, but in combat when men were falling down and bumping into each other he says that this just lead to chaos and confusion.

He thought it was much easier and more effective to use the second form of countermarch, which was to leave a three foot gap between every single file and train each musketeer to simply turn left after firing and march straight back to the rear.

He liked the swedish salvo system in which three ranks packed close together and fired at the same time, the first rank kneeling, the second rank stooping, and the third rank standing. This could be done with a countermarch with the first three ranks marching to the rear after firing, or by having six ranks first combine into three very dense ranks then all firing together, usually followed by a charge.

He also mentioned a kind of stationary fire by rank where the first rank fired then kneeled to reload, then the second rank fired then kneeled to reload, etc. He though this kind was the most impractical and would simply lead to a lot of friendly fire.

Variants of the countermarch do still show up in 18th and 19th century treatises and manuals, usually mentioned as a form of "street firing" or allowing many ranks to fire in a narrow space, or as a way to deliver continuious fire while advancing or retreating. It could also still be used if troops were defending a wall where only one rank could fire at a time or where there were a limited number of loop holes.

In later manuals from what I've seen the preferred method for when continuous fire was needed generally became something like platoon fire but scaled up depending on the overall number of troops. I.e. if you had one battalion you would split it up into four divisions and have each division give a single volley one at a time, if you had two battalions you would divide each battalion in half and have each half-battalion deliver a single volley one at a time, and if you had four battalions you would have each entire battalion deliver a single massed volley one at a time. The idea being that you still got alternating fire, but the volley delivered by an entire battalion was far more condensed and did more damage that the volley from a single platoon. You're probably right that this usually devolved into a running fire pretty quick, but perhaps it was enough that at least the initial volleys were spaced out to keep the troops firing at will from all having their weapons unloaded at any one time.

snowblizz
2018-08-04, 05:34 AM
Wanted to throw in a reality check. Am reaidng a book about the trasnformation of early medieaval Sweden into Sweden and the author threw in a claim about how expensive armour was I don't quite believe in. Around the year 1000 is the timeperiod. To paraphrase he says iron is very expensive (in part due to demand form crusade starting etc) and that a breastplate alone costs the yearly income of a mid-sized French estate.

Obviously the idea that there's a breastplate around 1000 is, ahem, iffy. And frankly the "price estimate" can't get much more vague. Am also ignoring the connection to crusading which is like a century plus older too.

There's no source or note what this price might come from.

So anyone able to give me some idea of what the correct answer is somewhere between "Ahahhaah, god the author must be an idiot" to "£3 4s 9p from Peasant's Shack Supermarket, down from £4 due to winter sale".


I think the author is trying to tie into and explain a surge in economic activity in the 13th century (in "Sweden" and generally).

Kiero
2018-08-04, 07:04 AM
I am surprised that they didn't develop it earlier/at all though, given that knight's method of warfare involves a lot more shock and impact than cavalry of steppe/Persia, and (presumably) at a higher risk of slipping through and stuck/slipping away from stirrup.

Shock cavalry wasn't invented in the medieval era; steppe people had plenty of heavier cavalry as well as horse archers. There are lots of examples of steppe riding games, such as those involving lancing hoops from targets and such that wouldn't have existed if they never closed.

The Jack
2018-08-04, 07:27 AM
Obviously the idea that there's a breastplate around 1000 is, ahem, iffy. And frankly the "price estimate" can't get much more vague. Am also ignoring the connection to crusading which is like a century plus older too.
.

I don't think people used breastplates around 1000. It was mail, or maybe something like laminar if you go east. People couldn't make plates out of iron the same way they could make them out of bronze (I thank the people who informed me of this last thread)0
But iron was a bitch to get, and a year of income kinda works when you consider that these people are born into their estates and have them for years. The noble class's whole job was to fight; so a one year investment for potentially decades of fighting is hardly a bad idea. Seems like a fairer deal than university nowadays.
I imagine poorer households dealt with the cost by handing pieces down through generations. It helps that they were expected to have less.

jayem
2018-08-04, 08:00 AM
the yearly income of a mid-sized French estate.

Crop yields went up in that time for various reasons. One book I have says [paraphrasing and adding an anachronism] they went getting two potatoes for every potato kept for seed to getting four. Which means at the start the yearly gross income was about a third of what it would be.
Currently "average yearly farm income" is only about £60,000 (that's after costs). So suggests to me that if they were transplanted to today roughly shouldn't be doing better than a minimum wage person today. Or he could roughly buy a car. Going the other way it doesn't seem unreasonable that mining and manufacturing a car today takes a similar amount of effort to a breastplate. so doesn't seem totally wild.

Peterborough accounts for 1307 has Eye bringing in £84 from the manor and town. While 217 horse shoes and nails cost 13Shillings (~£1). A new grange cost £45. They also spent £3 on metal for 4 ploughs and a horse plough.

Max_Killjoy
2018-08-04, 08:43 AM
Wanted to throw in a reality check. Am reaidng a book about the trasnformation of early medieaval Sweden into Sweden and the author threw in a claim about how expensive armour was I don't quite believe in. Around the year 1000 is the timeperiod. To paraphrase he says iron is very expensive (in part due to demand form crusade starting etc) and that a breastplate alone costs the yearly income of a mid-sized French estate.

Obviously the idea that there's a breastplate around 1000 is, ahem, iffy. And frankly the "price estimate" can't get much more vague. Am also ignoring the connection to crusading which is like a century plus older too.

There's no source or note what this price might come from.

So anyone able to give me some idea of what the correct answer is somewhere between "Ahahhaah, god the author must be an idiot" to "£3 4s 9p from Peasant's Shack Supermarket, down from £4 due to winter sale".


I think the author is trying to tie into and explain a surge in economic activity in the 13th century (in "Sweden" and generally).


I don't think people used breastplates around 1000. It was mail, or maybe something like laminar if you go east. People couldn't make plates out of iron the same way they could make them out of bronze (I thank the people who informed me of this last thread)0
But iron was a bitch to get, and a year of income kinda works when you consider that these people are born into their estates and have them for years. The noble class's whole job was to fight; so a one year investment for potentially decades of fighting is hardly a bad idea. Seems like a fairer deal than university nowadays.
I imagine poorer households dealt with the cost by handing pieces down through generations. It helps that they were expected to have less.


Crop yields went up in that time for various reasons. One book I have says [paraphrasing and adding an anachronism] they went getting two potatoes for every potato kept for seed to getting four. Which means at the start the yearly gross income was about a third of what it would be.
Currently "average yearly farm income" is only about £60,000 (that's after costs). So suggests to me that if they were transplanted to today roughly shouldn't be doing better than a minimum wage person today. Or he could roughly buy a car. Going the other way it doesn't seem unreasonable that mining and manufacturing a car today takes a similar amount of effort to a breastplate. so doesn't seem totally wild.

Peterborough accounts for 1307 has Eye bringing in £84 from the manor and town. While 217 horse shoes and nails cost 13Shillings (~£1). A new grange cost £45. They also spent £3 on metal for 4 ploughs and a horse plough.


It popped into my head that the high cost of a breastplate was because it was a new, rare, special thing -- but the timing is just off by far too many years.

In general I find these "such and such piece of armor or weapon cost more than most people made in a year" statements somewhat dubious, the sort of thing that carries over from outdated assumptions.

Tobtor
2018-08-04, 11:06 AM
Wanted to throw in a reality check. Am reaidng a book about the trasnformation of early medieaval Sweden into Sweden and the author threw in a claim about how expensive armour was I don't quite believe in. Around the year 1000 is the timeperiod. To paraphrase he says iron is very expensive (in part due to demand form crusade starting etc) and that a breastplate alone costs the yearly income of a mid-sized French estate.

Obviously the idea that there's a breastplate around 1000 is, ahem, iffy. And frankly the "price estimate" can't get much more vague. Am also ignoring the connection to crusading which is like a century plus older too.

There's no source or note what this price might come from.

So anyone able to give me some idea of what the correct answer is somewhere between "Ahahhaah, god the author must be an idiot" to "£3 4s 9p from Peasant's Shack Supermarket, down from £4 due to winter sale".


I think the author is trying to tie into and explain a surge in economic activity in the 13th century (in "Sweden" and generally).

Mail was expensive in the viking era and early medieval period.

Someone posted this prise-list (http://medieval.ucdavis.edu/120D/Money.html) previously. And it says a war horse in the 12th century was "up to 50s" and a mail was 100s. Thus a mail was twice the price of an expensive warhorse...

I have seen (but cant seem to find) some examples of what the price was for the armour and sword etc, of knights during the 9-10th centuries in France compared to number of cows. And an armour (without helmet) was about something like 8-12 cows, and the sword roughly the same.

At this time a free farmer in Denmark (roughly equivalent to Sweden judging by house size) would have between 10-30 cows, thus equipping an armoured man with a sword as well (and then helmet and shield and lance/spear) would cost as much as all the cows on a farm or more.

This of course drastically change to later periods. But in 9th-11th (and into 12th) century the armour IS very expensive.

A problem with using "annual" income doesn't tell us how much of that is disposable income (that is how much there have left after buying food, drink, clothing etc). Thus something might figure as just half a years income, but how much of their income can be spent on a piece of equipment can also change over time and place. If you have 20% of the annual income after your expenses then it is very different from having 2% of the income after expenses.