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

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    Some ancient authors did say that Chiron knew how to hunt, because he had been grown up by Apollon and Artemis. But there are no episodes in which he uses an arrow, except for when he picks up one of Herakles's to immediately drop it on his own foot, causing the famous wound. Plus, even where he is mentioned as a teacher of hunting, he works with dogs, javelins, and darts, and there is no mention of a bow. Finally, Hyginus quotes some unspecified authors saying explicitly that "no centaur ever used arrows" while discussing the oddities of the Sagittarius.
    But, did the people who started to portray Centaurs as archers during the Middle Ages know that? For many people with basic knowledge of the Classics, if Chiron was taught by Apollo, and taught Herakles and Odysseus in turn, and explicitly taught hunting and warfare, archery must have come to mind very naturally...
    Last edited by Clistenes; 2021-09-10 at 03:20 PM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Clistenes View Post
    But, did the people who started to portray Centaurs as archers during the Middle Ages know that? For many people with basic knowledge of the Classics, if Chiron was taught by Apollo, and taught Herakles and Odysseus in turn, and explicitly taught hunting and warfare, archery must have come to mind very naturally...
    The problem here, from my point of view, is how pervasive the Zodiac is, and how medieval artists didn't generally represent classical centaurs in the environment of the ancient myths. The centaurs were one of those wonderous animals or beasts or people you found in bestiaries and encyclopaedias, which if required could also be seen as religiously meaningful figures or employed as decorations in churches (church decorations themselves could have an encyclopedic or figurative purpose). So, for example, in the XII century AD Otranto mosaic there are two centaurs: one is the Sagittarius, and is part of the representation of the month of December; the other one is a hunting centaur killing a deer with an arrow, represented among other monsters and beasts, and possibly part of a representation of allegories of sins and virtues.

    However, it's also true that someone like Dante, who chooses centaurs as the archers who keep watch on tyrants and violent souls, would have been perfectly aware of the the available Latin texts (to the point that his centaurs are the same named centaurs from the myth, Chiron, Nessus, and so on, with the right behaviour for each). At the same time, all his life he had seen a centaur with a bow as the Sagittarius on the floors of the Florence Baptistery and of the Abbey of San Miniato al Monte.

    It is also true that there is a very lucky subset of Chiron's iconography that shows him teaching Achilles how to hunt, and, while in ancient works Chiron is empty-handed or holds a javelin, there are two Greek manuscripts from the XI century AD that show him with a bow, while he carries Achilles on his back, also holding a bow. Before Italy took off, Eastern Roman artists undeniably had a huge influence on Western art. So this particular image could have had a certain influence.

    By the way, the general idea that centaurs were inspired by Thessalian horsemen is already to be found in Isidore's Origines.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Ok, question for the sages:

    Assume you have a pair of fortresses/keeps/fortified structures in a large, completely passive city, separated by ~1/4 mile of water (in a large bay). One keep has most of the armed forces, while the other is effectively a fortified temple with staff but only minimal guards. Both are not at any kind of alert status. Technology level is late-medieval, except that they have the equivalent of radios (so instantaneous communications as long as a hub/transmitter remains in operation). The hub is located in the temple.

    Most of the forces are lightly armored (effectively pirate-style raiders operating off of small skiffs in the broad gulf beyond the city), but some are the equivalent of heavy infantry. No flying mounts. The very elite are spell-casters, with many of those being in the temple, but most of the temple staff and guards have other duties they are attending to (ie not on patrol).

    What's a reasonable set of times from "enemy detected on approach" for the following events (assuming that an assault force is coming very fast via air at the temple):
    * General alarm sounded
    * Temple at full readiness
    * Fort ready to put to sea
    * Fort troops arrive at temple

    As a note about detection ranges--the enemies WILL be detected at 2 miles, but they don't immediately know their target. All they know is "X number of creatures entered a 2-mile bubble at location XYZ" and then effectively continuous position updates. Since this detection is magical/psionic, it's not affected by stealth. The detection apparatus is also the communications hub.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    If they are not at alert and are unaware that a flying attack could be imminent, then a solid 2 or 3 hours at a minimum to get an organized force into fighting positions.
    - The guards on duty will defend normally but be overwhelmed.
    - Assuming a non combat ready environment a large portion of the soldiery will be in barracks resting or training, another large portion will be on furlough, smaller portions will be out on patrol somewhere. So to get a significant force under arms and roughly organized you’re probably looking at 1 hour minimum. Arms and armor are usually kept under lick and key so there will be some delays associated with accessing the fighting gear.
    - Then you have to need to march around the bay where chaos and confusion will be running free. Once you’ve marched around the bay you then have to take up positions.
    - While all this is happening the leaders have to get intel on enemy forces, intentions, capabilities and locations.

    You may get some parties of first responders running to the temple, but they’ll probably end up establishing a perimeter rather than going into the melee.

    If the city is completely unaware it may take even longer. If the city is on alert for threats generally, but not this specific threat then the time may come down.

    The best analogy I can think of is the response times to Viking raids.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    What's a reasonable set of times from "enemy detected on approach" for the following events (assuming that an assault force is coming very fast via air at the temple):

    As a note about detection ranges--the enemies WILL be detected at 2 miles, but they don't immediately know their target. All they know is "X number of creatures entered a 2-mile bubble at location XYZ" and then effectively continuous position updates. Since this detection is magical/psionic, it's not affected by stealth. The detection apparatus is also the communications hub.
    Could you define 'very fast' please? Very fast by the Viking age standard mentioned by Pauly, would be between 15-17 knots for a warship.

    Let's say there's a guard on a watchtower overlooking the sea and he's 50 ft above sea level (30 ft wall plus 20 ft above the coast).
    That makes the distance to horizon ~8.7 miles*, so under clear conditions, from time of detection to having boots on the ground would be approx 27 minutes. Under your assured detection radius, it would be a little over 6 minutes from detection to boots on the ground; if your fortress can't get a general alarm sounded within a couple minutes of the enemies' detection, then it deserves to fall.

    Note that while flying forces would cover the distance faster, they would also be detected from further out unless special evasion methods are taken (flying very high, using night/cloud cover, flying very close to the ocean surface, using the terrain as cover, etc).

    *technically it's further as longships sit a far distance above the water, but the maths get complicated.
    Last edited by Brother Oni; 2021-10-05 at 05:19 AM.

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

    Note: the people from the other fortress could come by ship (and in fact would have to, since both fortresses are on islands). The entire armed force model is
    * Go out and catch ships that are passing by but get caught in the nasty reefs, currents, etc outside. Enslave the crews (with mind magic) and bring them back.
    * Keep a minimal guard force on land outside the city to prevent any unconquered locals (which are minimal at this point) from raiding.
    * Have forces patrolling in the city proper, but mostly to keep them busy (since the conquered people are controlled by mental conditioning).
    * Anyone who uses exotic means of access (such as teleporting/shadow walking) will get detected and the patrols will get vectored to them. But the patrols are confined to land and spread hither and yon in penny packets (basically squad-level).

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    Could you define 'very fast' please? Very fast by the Viking age standard mentioned by Pauly, would be between 15-17 knots for a warship.

    Let's say there's a guard on a watchtower overlooking the sea and he's 50 ft above sea level (30 ft wall plus 20 ft above the coast).
    That makes the distance to horizon ~8.7 miles*, so under clear conditions, from time of detection to having boots on the ground would be approx 27 minutes. Under your assured detection radius, it would be a little over 6 minutes from detection to boots on the ground; if your fortress can't get a general alarm sounded within a couple minutes of the enemies' detection, then it deserves to fall.

    Note that while flying forces would cover the distance faster, they would also be detected from further out unless special evasion methods are taken (flying very high, using night/cloud cover, flying very close to the ocean surface, using the terrain as cover, etc).

    *technically it's further as longships sit a far distance above the water, but the maths get complicated.
    In this case, they're moving at ~9 mi/hr (80 ft/6 seconds, with bursts up to 160ft/6 seconds) on the backs of griffons, roughly 1.5-2 miles in the air. And the detection radius is entirely telepathic--the chances of detection via other means is minimal, and even if they were seen, the communications has a critical flaw--the hub must contact people, they can't communicate back out of turn except more conventionally. Due to (specifics that shouldn't be relevant and might be spoilers if any of my players read this), the city is entirely reliant on this, with only minimal people actually looking at the sky or land. Their entire threat model is...well...more of a threat to others. They have lookouts quite a bit further out to sea, but the attack isn't coming in over the sea at all (flying over land) and those lookouts are looking for sails, not up at high angles. The attackers will be coming out of the rising sun (as is traditional), which further complicates visual detection.

    So that means the fortresses have ~10 minutes between detection and enemy landing (which will be at the top of the temple tower). I'm assuming that a general alarm will be sounded within a minute or so (confirming that these aren't just flying by but are approaching). The main question is how long will the party have to assault the temple before the other fortress can feasibly respond in force. Minutes? Tens of minutes? Hours? I will note that there are only 4 attackers, but the attackers are individually and collectively much more powerful than any individual defender[1]. Escape isn't so much of a concern--they can teleport out. They couldn't teleport in, because none of them had seen it or had a good enough description before hand.

    [1] as I am the DM, and this is the high(er)-level party attacking an enemy, mind-flayer-controlled temple/citadel.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    In this case, you might have some local forces show up every so often from any local patrols in the "hey, there are explosions from the temple" sense. Say a guard patrol every 2d6 rounds feels right.

    But a fully organized, strong response? As mentioned above, hours for a proper response unless they had significantly more warning. Like, divinations.


    (Unless you're one of my DMs, who had hobgoblins go from asleep to armored on tacked wargs in the space of 12 seconds... I'm still bitter about that.)

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Telwar View Post
    In this case, you might have some local forces show up every so often from any local patrols in the "hey, there are explosions from the temple" sense. Say a guard patrol every 2d6 rounds feels right.

    But a fully organized, strong response? As mentioned above, hours for a proper response unless they had significantly more warning. Like, divinations.


    (Unless you're one of my DMs, who had hobgoblins go from asleep to armored on tacked wargs in the space of 12 seconds... I'm still bitter about that.)
    Yeah, that latter bit is what I'm trying to avoid. I'm thinking that the response time from the patrols will be slower, since they actually have to get across the bay (both temple and fortress are on islands, with only boat access).

    Current plan is that if they're not past the ground floor (which is where the non-mindflayer guards can get[0]) before they stop for a short rest, there will be at least one big chunk of extra guards on hand (one large boat worth, which is many). And "soon" (within an hour, possibly very soon), mind flayers will levitate up the sides of the temple to attack the griffons they left behind, unless they order them[1] to leave the area entirely.

    [0] Operational secrecy requires that access to the upper and basement floors requires levitation (or ropes)--there are no stairs. While they do have conditioning-based control over most of the zealot guards, that's not absolute, and they'd rather not risk anyone breaking conditioning due to seeing the horrors they're committing and breaking important things.

    [1] Due to circumstances, they have a talking cat who stays behind and can command the griffons to move. If they think to leave communications (like a sending stone) with the cat. Otherwise she'll act on her own best judgement once she sees incoming mind flayers. Either way, they're unlikely to have the griffons to get back and will have to teleport...if the mind flayers or the <spoilers> don't take active countermeasures on that side.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    As a note about detection ranges--the enemies WILL be detected at 2 miles, but they don't immediately know their target. All they know is "X number of creatures entered a 2-mile bubble at location XYZ" and then effectively continuous position updates. Since this detection is magical/psionic, it's not affected by stealth. The detection apparatus is also the communications hub.
    I'm assuming that the X number of creatures is bad enought that the people involved would immediately know something bad is up, and it's not just a lost trader returning to city.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    * General alarm sounded
    Seconds. If their magical detection is reliable and the people doing it know it's reliable, there have been enough incidents in WW2 of radar spotting a thing and people in command ignoring it. Even actual medieval cities could start a general alarm in seconds to a few minutes by ringing the town bells - seconds if the rope went all the way down, minutes if you had to run up the stairs.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    * Temple at full readiness
    Minutes, if they have some semblance of emergency situation drilled into them. There will be no need to run around to figure out what the orders are, since you have radios, so the limiting factor is what tasks you need to do and how quickly people can run. Frankly, the limiting factor is probably putting on heavy armor for the troops that have it and don't currently wear it, which takes at most 10 minutes for plate (KnyghtErrant on YT, without trying to hurry, did it in just above 10).

    Let's put that time to 30 minutes at most, with light and medium infantry being able to deploy at 10 minutes, and some forces being able to go right then.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    * Fort ready to put to sea
    Late medieval means pretty much still galley technology. Fortunately, distance is small enough that you don't have to worry about supplies, so assuming you, or anyone you can take it from, has a ship, you're good to go. If the fort is close to the sea, it will take about as long as it took temple to get ready, because again, your main factor is putting on plate armor.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    * Fort troops arrive at temple
    A galley has the top speed of 10-20 knots when we're considering short bursts only (the absolute best long-term was ~9 knots sustained for a day), so let's call it 15 knots/27 kmh, needed to cross 400 meters.

    That will take 52 seconds at full speed all the way, with galleys being able to reach that in about 30 secons. So, no matter what you do, it will take less than 2 minutes.

    The problem is that you need to do that with a lot of ships that can get in each others' way, and then you need to keep some cohesion of forces on landing. An ideally-drilled force where nothing goes wrong will be able to do it with minimal time losses. Realistically? Expect quite some chaos and delays.

    Frankly, there is no limit on how long this will take - amphibious assaults are notoriously tricky to do well even today. A good number is 25 minutes, taken from D-day's Gold beach. This is the time between landing craft starting their support fire and the first actual landing of troops.

    Quote Originally Posted by Telwar
    But a fully organized, strong response? As mentioned above, hours for a proper response unless they had significantly more warning. Like, divinations.
    Not really. Hungarian local troops managed to do this in minutes to hours in real life, with no magic and mountainous terrain, against surprise Ottoman raiding parties. What will take you a few hours is getting all the villagers inside the city walls and mustering conscript forces, but even that was shockingly quick in areas that were used to raids.

    If you want to gather a royal army that belongs to a kingdom, well, that will take you days to weeks at least. Months, if it is an offensive campaign you want to stock up for.

    One of the fastest actions in this regard was Battle of Domazlice, where the Hussites managed to gather a response force to crusading armies crossing over the border and march and engage the crusaders while they were besieging Domazlice in 16 days, with the actual muster at Beroun taking 8 days, and march lasting another 8.

    Compared to response of Hungary against Mongol invasion, which took about a month (12 march to 11 april) and still wasn't done when the battle happened, that is pretty damn quick.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Telwar View Post
    (Unless you're one of my DMs, who had hobgoblins go from asleep to armored on tacked wargs in the space of 12 seconds... I'm still bitter about that.)
    Obviously the Hobgoblins slept fully armoured (they are hobgoblins, doesn't seem off) and using the warg as a pillow. And IMO no self-respecting hobgoblin rides anything but bare-backed.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Greywolf View Post
    A galley has the top speed of 10-20 knots when we're considering short bursts only (the absolute best long-term was ~9 knots sustained for a day), so let's call it 15 knots/27 kmh, needed to cross 400 meters.
    10-20 knots? You might want to double check your source for that. I think steam powered, purpose-built blockade runners of the Civil War could maybe do 20 knots. I don't even think the olympic sculling boats get near 20 knots(?). My recollection is that "dash" speed is reckoned at around 7-9 knots for a galley. (Perhaps you meant 10-20 kilometers per hour?)

    Also, the amount of time spent embarking and disembarking troops is probably going to be another potentially limiting factor. Combined with the time spent readying the galleys, getting their crews in place (although perhaps the troops can be the rowers). If I had to deal with this issue, I would be looking to build a bridge (a draw bridge section would still allow navigation of ships in and out of the harbor), and just have the troops march over.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    In this case, they're moving at ~9 mi/hr (80 ft/6 seconds, with bursts up to 160ft/6 seconds) on the backs of griffons, roughly 1.5-2 miles in the air. And the detection radius is entirely telepathic--the chances of detection via other means is minimal, and even if they were seen, the communications has a critical flaw--the hub must contact people, they can't communicate back out of turn except more conventionally. Due to (specifics that shouldn't be relevant and might be spoilers if any of my players read this), the city is entirely reliant on this, with only minimal people actually looking at the sky or land. Their entire threat model is...well...more of a threat to others. They have lookouts quite a bit further out to sea, but the attack isn't coming in over the sea at all (flying over land) and those lookouts are looking for sails, not up at high angles. The attackers will be coming out of the rising sun (as is traditional), which further complicates visual detection.
    If they're coming that altitude during a clear day, then a Mk1 eyeball would resolve them as a distance of about 6 miles (assumption of human sized objects are resolvable at ~2 miles and a griffon is ~3 times the size of a human with outstretched wings). That's ~27 minutes of them flying in, hoping that nobody bothers to look up, before they trip the automatic detection zone.

    Once they've entered that zone (it's closer to 13 minutes, but I'm not sure how much of a difference that makes for D&D timings), by the time they've landed, lightly armoured troops will be ready to deploy, although they won't know where to deploy. If there are set protocols to get troops across to the temple in case of attack, then probably ~15 minutes to embark them, ship them across, then disembark them. After that they need to make it to the temple.

    If they don't know that the troops are needed at the temple, then that 15 minute timer starts from when the distress call comes from the temple.

    There'd be another boatload of the heavily armoured troops landing maybe 10 minutes after the first boatload - if your party members are savvy, someone with AOE attacks could intercept the troops while they're landing at the temple, delaying them even further.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by fusilier View Post
    10-20 knots? You might want to double check your source for that. I think steam powered, purpose-built blockade runners of the Civil War could maybe do 20 knots. I don't even think the olympic sculling boats get near 20 knots(?). My recollection is that "dash" speed is reckoned at around 7-9 knots for a galley. (Perhaps you meant 10-20 kilometers per hour?)
    You may want to check yours. 6 knots is cruising speed, Olympias reconstruction achieved 9 knots with green crew in 1990. These are all speeds that are maintained over hours at a time. Longship reconstructions peak at about 17 knots, again with green, modern crews, and there is enough historical evidence for occassional 20-25 knots, although that was... probably extremely rare, since modern sailboats can reach about that speed.

    I'm not saying you'd be able to maintain those 15 knots over any length of time, it's the ship's equivalent of a sprint, and you'd probably only see it used just before a ram. In this specific situation, where you have only a very narrow channel to get through, though?

    As an aside, Olympic rowing reaches about 12 knots, which is weird, but I suspect there is some sort of hydrodynamic effect for larger vessels that isn't present for rowers, meaning you can scale upwards relatively well, especially since we see longships routinely at that top speed. I can't even begin to guess what it is, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by fusilier View Post
    Also, the amount of time spent embarking and disembarking troops is probably going to be another potentially limiting factor. Combined with the time spent readying the galleys, getting their crews in place (although perhaps the troops can be the rowers). If I had to deal with this issue, I would be looking to build a bridge (a draw bridge section would still allow navigation of ships in and out of the harbor), and just have the troops march over.
    With this being an alarm beign sounded, you won't get an entire crew marching up to the ship at once, you'll get rowers arriving first, lightly armored troops second and the heavies last. And the ships are docked, with planks ready to lower, plus no need to load anything but the troops. Those 10 minutes you need to put on plate are still probably the main limiting factor, and while you're doing that, those ~200 crewmen that a trireme has can get on easy enough.

    And if you have larger ships than that, well... a few Syracusias could probably serve as an actual bridge?
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    I can't find WHY it works this way right now, and I have forgotten... but there's a known positive relationship between length of the waterline, and speed.

    That is, longer boats have a higher max speed.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Greywolf View Post
    You may want to check yours. 6 knots is cruising speed, Olympias reconstruction achieved 9 knots with green crew in 1990. These are all speeds that are maintained over hours at a time. Longship reconstructions peak at about 17 knots, again with green, modern crews, and there is enough historical evidence for occassional 20-25 knots, although that was... probably extremely rare, since modern sailboats can reach about that speed.
    John F. Guilmartin (2003), Gunpowder and Galleys, pg 217:

    "This brings us back to our starting point: the galley's maximum dash speed of about 7 knots. . . . By driving the ciurma [i.e. rowing crew] very close to the limit, a cruising speed of some 3 to 4 knots could be maintained for about eight hours."

    The Olympias achieved a max speed of 9 knots (I see no evidence that it maintained this speed for "hours" at a time), although in his other work on the subject (Galleons and Galleys) Guilmartin acknowledges that the design of triremes would allow a higher top speed under oars than early modern galleys.

    Online you can find references to replica longships traveling at around 15-20 knots, but they're under sail (and ideal conditions), not being rowed (something which is not made obvious by the claims floating around the internet). For rowing, 8 knots is considered the "technical max speed" for this longship:
    http://vikingship.se/oldviking/roddE.html

    However, it achieves that max speed somewhat quickly, and galleys of all sorts were known for good acceleration. In the scenario given, the ship will be loaded down with many heavily armed/armored soldiers, and that will affect both top speed and acceleration.

    if you have sources that claim such ships could be rowed at up to 20 knots, please share them, I would be interested in reading them.

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

    I'll say that either way, it seems that actual travel time is not the limiting factor in this specific scenario. Getting people out of their bunks (etc), equipped, organized, loaded aboard, and then unloaded are the dominant times.

    For ease of play, I'm going to say that these people are on the slower end for various reasons. Such that if they push through to the ground floor (where the "regular" troops can get) without taking a break or major delays (30+ minutes), then only the on-site troops will be there to greet them (there being non-regular troops in the rest of the building). If they take a break or delay a lot, then they'll have swarms of troops and will probably have to retreat. If they decide to deviate from a "drop straight out of the sky" policy and swing by and fireball the boats at the fortress side on their way in, they'll risk getting shot out of the sky by archers but potentially put a major crimp in the response.
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  17. - Top - End - #737
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Greywolf View Post
    You may want to check yours. 6 knots is cruising speed, Olympias reconstruction achieved 9 knots with green crew in 1990. These are all speeds that are maintained over hours at a time. Longship reconstructions peak at about 17 knots, again with green, modern crews, and there is enough historical evidence for occassional 20-25 knots, although that was... probably extremely rare, since modern sailboats can reach about that speed.
    A report on the reconstruction of the Sea Stallion (EDIT - a replica viking longship) can be downloaded here:
    https://www.saxonship.org/wp-content...onEtcV1.0.docx
    [Note this is a link to a word document]

    On Page 5, they note that the maximum speed achieved while rowing was 5 knots, and that was only possible for short distance:
    It was discovered during the trial voyages on Roskilde Fjord and the journey to Dublin, that under good conditions, the Sea Stallion is capable of reaching speeds of up to 17 knots under sail, and 5 knots by rowing with a full crew, although it is only possible to row this quickly for short distances (Bill et al 2007:63; Johansen 2009:62). It would appear that the average speed however is roughly 6-8 knots when under sail, and 2-3 knots rowing with the mast lowered (Information Panel 2015).
    I believe this may have been in the open ocean, and in a harbor I would expect the conditions would generally be a bit calmer, and probably allow a higher top speed under oars. But still no where near 15-20 knots.

    While it is fair to assume that the modern rowers aren't as conditioned to rowing (or rowing in this particular style), many also make the assumption that the historical oarsmen weren't as well fed and strong as their modern counterparts -- I don't necessarily think that is a fair assumption (we do know that the modern descendants of the vikings are considerable taller). Even giving the benefit of the doubt to the historical oarsmen, we're probably talking about another knot or two in top speed, not doubling, or tripling, maximum speed under oars.

    ------------
    In case anybody wants to check it up, the references in the above quote are:
    Bill, J., Nielsen, S., Andersen, E. and Damgård-Sørensen. 2007. Welcome on Board! The Sea Stallion from Glendalough- A Viking Longship Recreated. The Viking Ship Museum: Roskilde.

    Information Panel. 2015. Information Panel next to the berth of the Sea Stallion. Viking Ship Museum: Roskilde

    Johansen, R. 2009. ‘The Viking Ships of Skuldelev’. In Bennett, J. (ed.) 2009. Sailing into The Past: Learning From Replica Ships. Naval Institute Press: Maryland. P52-69.
    Last edited by fusilier; 2021-10-06 at 03:03 PM.

  18. - Top - End - #738
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    I can't find WHY it works this way right now, and I have forgotten... but there's a known positive relationship between length of the waterline, and speed.

    That is, longer boats have a higher max speed.
    ISTR from an article in Dragon Magazine long, long ago that it is Froude's Law. Based on the fact that when you move over the water, you create waves. The distance from wave peak to wave peak (wavelength) is proportional to your speed. The maximum efficient speed is when your bow and your stern are both at a wave peak. When you exceed that speed, the wavelength exceeds the length of your ship, and your stern slips down into the trough. At that point, you are effectively sailing uphill. Something like that.

    Looks like it was "The Hull Truth About Speed" from Dragon #70. Which was in 1983. Which officially qualifies as "long, long ago".

    DrewID

  19. - Top - End - #739
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    I want to sort of "pre-register" my question given the constraints of this forum.

    Should I try to carefully formulate a question pertaining to laws of war, Saint Petersburg Declaration of 1868, Hague Conventions and usage of non-solid projectiles or this is impossible task?

    (I am not asking for dispensation; I know that if I screw up it's still on me no matter what).

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Saint-Just View Post
    I want to sort of "pre-register" my question given the constraints of this forum.

    Should I try to carefully formulate a question pertaining to laws of war, Saint Petersburg Declaration of 1868, Hague Conventions and usage of non-solid projectiles or this is impossible task?

    (I am not asking for dispensation; I know that if I screw up it's still on me no matter what).
    If you were asking about the effects of non-solid projectiles, technology and damage potential thereof, that would be fine.

    If you were asking about the results of that damage and any appearance of 'undue suffering' that might impact social and political factors resulting in the legality of the munitions usage, that would be off limits. This would include historical comparison to existing or former legislation/laws on similar munitions.

    If you're not sure, then I would advise not asking it here - Reddit might be a better place in the right sub-Reddit.

  21. - Top - End - #741
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Leaving an answer to that question as vague as possible, there was a longitudinal study conducted a few years back about the compliance of warring parties with established codes and laws, and the general conclusion was that the sweet spot for actually following those laws is major and reasonably centralized powers fighting over issues that are not of existential importance and don't involve large portions of the population.

    So, generally speaking, the further you go away from limited wars on behalf of nation states and the occasional tribal ceremonial war, the less likely the specifics of the legal code itself are going to matter beyond whatever the tacit agreements are within the warring parties. I think Van Creveld points out that on top wars between differing cultures tend to get nasty because it's a rare legal code seen as universally legitimate , and each sides brand of morality/ethics will diverge far enough that the space for implicit "good" behavior shrinks. Cue each side thinking the other is being a savage fighting outside unwritten laws of war, and reacting accordingly...

    All of which is a very long way to say that in most RPG settings (big honking war between big nations for big important things OR rebellion and insurrectjon) the details of non solid projectiles are probably going to be honored mostly in the breach, ignored, judged merely as an additional detail by the victor or adhered to largely as a result of existing manufacturing more than an attempt at legal compliance.

  22. - Top - End - #742
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    I was not going to ask "what ifs".

    A question I think is safe to ask here is: is Saint Petersburg Declaration of 1868 considered to be in force today? I know it's not the part of the international laws of war and only binding on signatories but those signatories are important states.

    And the other non-question would be: I am under impression that interpretation of some international laws of war as embodied in the weapons systems and doctrine has significantly changed between 1900 and 2000, but I cant find any discussion of changing interpretations, only seemingly contradictory facts (in year X Country N thinks it's illegal; In year Y country N thinks it's legal; relevant international laws are the same AFAIK). Where would you recommend me to ask the question about that?

  23. - Top - End - #743
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Saint-Just View Post
    Where would you recommend me to ask the question about that?
    This is pretty much modern international law issue, so anywhere where lawyers that deal with it congregate. I suspect there's a reddit for that. Or email a law history professor, if you want to go the extra mile.
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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

    The Hague conventions of 1899 formally expand on the St Petersburg declaration, but only applies to its signatories.

    The Geneva Conventions (1949) and their additional protocols (1977) declare against unnecessary suffering and superfluous injury, but do not specify small caliber munitions.

    The ICRC maintains that they are banned by "customary law" even if not specified, but there are large and influential nation states who maintain that a doctrine of military nessecity can authorize special small caliber munitions. Since those same states are the signatories and primary contractors to the Geneva conventions, you roll your law dice and take your chances.

    The ICC has ruled things like frangible bullets to be illegal outside of armed conflict (2008), but despite the name the ICCs Rome Statute does not actually extend de jure to 2x permanent members of the UN security council, and de facto lacks the authority and means to enforce means and methods law within the bounds of most sovereign nations.

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