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Month Index: September, 1996

From:     Paul Westermeyer <westermeyer.3@???.edu>
Date:     Fri, 13 Sep 1996 01:11:31 -0400
Subject:  Re: Size of Fleets (was another subject I can't remember:))
>At 02:01 PM 9/10/96 GMT, Eugene Shumu1insky wrote:
>>       All this talk of Glassteel ships riminded me of something we
>>havn't talked about on this list (as far as I remember).  How large
>>are naval space forces for some countries in your campaigns?  It has
>>been said (somewhere) that most nations couldn't afford many helms,
>>so how many ships *are* there in space?  And why is it that most PC's
>>have enough money to construct glasssteel ships?  (:  Then again, maybe
>>I should say "some" PC's.

My various Realms posts give a rough idea as to the size of fleets in my
campaign.  I use the size of Bral's fleet (as given in the supplement) as a
general guideline (on the low end) and the size of the Wa fleet (according
to WCC) for a more powerful setup.  I also try to factor in the effect such
a large fleet might have on the groundling power structures,  and raise or
lower the size accordingly.

On a related note,  after several playtests,  using the Battlesystem rules
and the SJ addendum I posted earlier,  I've found that spelljammers are not
_tactically_ dominent against typical (IMC) fantasy forces.  Strategicily
they offer quite an advantage,  and they are quite deadly against sailing
craft,  but in general they fail poorly against semi-prpared ground forces
(against groups that might have never encountered them,  Mazticans or
Tuigan,  they have great morale effects).  They are most effective when
using low level helmsmen,  or Furnace helms,  high level helmsmen would be
better utilized as spellcasters rather than simple ship engines.  These
tests all occured in a moderate magic Forgotten Realms campaign and of
course your results may vary,  I'd love to hear them in fact.  I might add
that adding higher level mages makes spelljamming even less tactically
efficient,  and that most of the standard SJ vessels perform _very_ poorly
in a ground attack role (I plan to use Locusts in my next play tests,  they
might fair better...).  Anyone got any ideas for a "ground attack" bomber
type of SJ craft?

Oh,  expect another Realmspace update soon.  I'm accepting suggestions as
to the specific subject.

"We look on the same stars,  the sky is common,  the same world surrounds
us.  What difference does it make by what pains each seeks the truth?  We
can not attain to so great a secret by one road..."
Symmachus,  "Memorial on the Occasion of the Removal of the Altar of
Victory from the Senate House" (392 AD)

Paul William Westermeyer

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