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Month Index: January, 1995

From:     Michael Sandy <mehawk@?????.?????.com>
Date:     Tue, 3 Jan 95 23:08 PST
Subject:  Re: flying mounts
Someone brought up the very good point that you don't want to use something
expensive like a trained hippogryph on a possibly suicidal mission.

The difference is that the Arcane provide the helms.  Hippogryphs can be
raised locally.  For any navy that wants to have a large Void space presence
with having the Arcane know the complete complement of their navy, especially
with their tendency to sell every piece of information they come across for
their own ends, having locally made substitutes helps.

Another advantage to flying mounts is that you can have a higher quality
of marines.  Ship space is taken up by a lot of things, here are a few:
1)  Cargo Hoists require a large number of crew to operate.  There is
a reason that a dockworkers' Union can exist, it isn't profitable to have
to carry crew whose sole job is to load and unload the ship.  If a ship
needs 3 crew to fly it, and 15 to load it, those extra 12 are extra mouths.
Even if they also act as soldiers, how good soldiers are you going to get
who are enthusiastic about acting as dockworkers?
2)  Landing gear.  If you have scouts who can act as pathfinders it becomes
a lot easier to land in unfamiliar territory.  Also, checking out the
quality of wood or stone or whatever for repairs can't be done from the air.
In areas with strict laws about air usage and dock inspection, a ship may not
want to enter a port it wants to trade with.
3)  Remember those marines?  It isn't much fun climbing through 30' of
tangled ropes and spars under the best of circumstances, how much worse when
a fast flying hippogryph is trying to knock you _off_?

Gah, imagine a Giff Trooper with firepowder grenades flying on a hippogryph!

In a purely voidspace encounter, hippogryphs probably aren't much better than
an equivalent weight of marines, but marines of such quality aren't cheap
either.  They are definitely _cheaper_ than flitters with helms, and flitters
without helms aren't much faster than hippogryphs and take up much more
room.  Also, the hippogryph is a combatant in its own right.  Its a close
call.  The armament of the helmless flitter is higher, and it can lift more,
but then, only the elves make them.  For long voyages the flitters are better
because they don't consume supplies, the closer you operate to major bodies
the more the equation tilts towards including hippogryphs.

The flying mounts have an advantage in the extremely long range voyages
as well.  It is a lot easier for a colony which raises flying mounts to
become militarily selfsufficient, ie, can protect itself without aid from
raiders, than a colony which must build its own ships.  Flying mounts alone
probably couldn't fight off a navy attack, but thinking back to the age of
expansion, one medium sized ship under a Buccaneer like Drake could sack
a good sized town all by itself, simply because the ship has the advantage
of timing.  A spelljamming ship can almost always establish local superiority
over a less mobile foe.  Given sufficient warning, a colony with say,
100 flying mounts could deal a nasty blow to raider who didn't bother looking

By the way, I seem to recall something called the sharks of space, Skavvers?
Could they be made into mounts?  Imagine undead riding Skavvers...

Michael Sandy

Previous Message: flying mounts
Next Message: Spell: Spacer's Fireball
Month Index: January, 1995

SubjectFromDate (UTC)
flying mounts    Joseph Delisle    04 Jan 1995 01:55:26
Re: flying mounts    Michael Sandy    04 Jan 1995 07:08:00

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