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Month Index: September, 1996


From:     Paul Westermeyer <westermeyer.3@???.edu>
Date:     Tue, 17 Sep 1996 02:17:18 -0400
Subject:  Re: Size of Fleets
>        How do prepared ground forces in your campaign defend against
>an airborn ship?  Without mid-level magic defense (and offense) would
>seem difficult.  I'm having a hard time visualizing this because my
>world if mostly lower magic than a typical campaign.
>
>-Static

Well,  I can answer this best by example,  I think.

First Case: My players were preparing to defend the town of Hill's Edge on
Toril from a Humanoid mob.  They had a Wreckboat with a furnace helm.  They
loaded it with flasks of oil and rocks,  armed it with a ballista,  and
crewed it.  The humanoids suffered minor losses.  The party caught several
of the town's buildings on fire due to the scatter from the flaming oil
bombs (dropping molotov cocktails by hand from the air is not a precision
activity...)  The party's ground troops were insufficient,  and the
humanoids were winning.  An army of Zhentarim came in and saved the day,
party flees town in disgrace (Of course,  the Zhent's had set the whole
thing up to discredit the mayor (a player character) but the outcome of the
battle between the party and the Humanoid army was not preordained,  if the
players won the Zhents intended to attack the town in it's weakened state,
but  that's all campaign specific) The wreckboat did allow the party to
escape a very nasty defeat intact.

Second Case:  Party returns to save Hill's Edge,  several months latter.
Now had a full galleon,  armed with 1 light catapult,  1 heavy ballista,
and 2 medium Ballistae (the Oathtaker,  stats on Static's webpage).  They
are leading a combined army of Lord's Alliance troops,  mercs,  elves,  and
other recruited allies.  The town is held by the Zhents, Gnoll mercs and a
small, elite band of drow.  The Galleon is destroyed by Zhent Medium
Ballistae mounted on towers in the third turn of the battle. Crashes in the
river through town with loss of all hands,  but Helm is recoverable.
Battle continues for 15 more turns (and 12 more real time hours...:)) party
eventually is successful at freeing town fromn Zhentish tyranny.

Third Case: Unrelated group.  Naval battle consisting of one spelljammer (a
Dragonfly with a Piercing Ram), and three Cormyrean Caravels versus 4
pirate vessels of various types.  In this case the spelljammer was
important,  it managed to sink the largest pirate vessel.  Because the
pirate vessels started at anchor,  however,  it was generally agreed the
scenario was unbalanced.  The Cormyrean Caravel's destroyed the other
vessel's with no aid from the spelljammer.  The vessel the SJ sank was the
only pirate vessel to get underway and was attempting to escape.

Fourth Case: A higher magic scenario.  PCs lead an army of Azuposi (from
Michaca in Anchrome) against a merc army led by a wizard from the Hostower
Arcane of Luskan.  The Merc army had steel weapons,  armor,  horses and
smokepowder weapons,  also the wizard was 15th level.  The party averaged
5th level,  the Azuposi were armed and equipped as the historical Pueblo
Indians. The party also had a unique spelljammer I designed,  the Lacanha
(stats are on Static's webpage) which had no missile weapons but did use a
unique helm (needing no spellcasting helmsman).  The party suceeded,  but
barely.  The enemy was not routed,  but the wizard was killed when the
Lacanha landed on him. (an event which caused much checking through rule
books and arguements).  Most casualties were caused by the party's
carefully prepared defences,  however,  rather than the use of the SJ.  the
Mercs decided continueing was not cost effective and they retreated.  It
might be noted that I never found an effective counter to the ship once the
15th level Mage died,  the mercs smokepowder weapons did not have
sufficient elevation,  and they had not brought any ballista with them
across the desert.  They did,  however,  manage to kill off the 30 archers
the party had placed aboard the ship during it's firing passes.

Fifth Case: A humaoind army attacked a small village defended by a small
militia and an adventuring party with a Shrikeship (standard).  The
Humanoid army included 6 hill giants who knocked the shrikeship from the
sky with boulders.  The party managed to delay the humanoids long enough
for the townspeople to escape,  but they had expected to destroy the
humanoids.  They party averaged 9th level.  They mostly died in the crash.
Humanoid casualties were moderate.

Well,  there's a few test cases,  not constituting conclusive proof.  I'd
love to hear of anyone elses stories in this regard:)  The battles above
were all fought using Battlesystem and the SJ modifications I posted
earlier.  My next project is to fight out an assault on an astroid base.

Thoughts?

"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)

westermeyer.3@???.edu
Paul William Westermeyer




Previous Message: Re: Re:
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Month Index: September, 1996

SubjectFromDate (UTC)
Re: Size of Fleets    Eugene Shumu1insky    13 Sep 1996 14:23:58
Re: Size of Fleets    Paul Westermeyer    17 Sep 1996 06:17:18
Re: Size of Fleets    ADEPT@???.com    18 Sep 1996 03:13:36
Re: Size of Fleets    Eugene Shumu1insky    18 Sep 1996 14:23:02
Re: Size of Fleets    Truls Rostrup    18 Sep 1996 15:00:46
Re: Size of Fleets    ADEPT@???.com    19 Sep 1996 09:55:32
Re: Size of Fleets    Eugene Shumu1insky    19 Sep 1996 14:10:34
Re: Size of Fleets    Truls Rostrup    19 Sep 1996 15:31:17
Re: Size of Fleets    Eugene Shumu1insky    19 Sep 1996 16:00:24
Re: Size of Fleets    Paul Westermeyer    19 Sep 1996 21:44:21
Re: Size of Fleets    ADEPT@???.com    19 Sep 1996 21:31:41
Re: Size of Fleets    Paul Westermeyer    19 Sep 1996 21:44:01
Re: Size of Fleets    Eugene Shumu1insky    19 Sep 1996 23:09:29
Re: Size of Fleets    Eugene Shumu1insky    19 Sep 1996 23:37:15
Re: Size of Fleets    Paul Westermeyer    20 Sep 1996 02:26:09
Re: Size of Fleets    Truls Rostrup    20 Sep 1996 13:04:01
Re: Size of Fleets    ADEPT@???.com    20 Sep 1996 21:10:03
Re: Size of Fleets    Paul Westermeyer    20 Sep 1996 21:48:25
Re: Size of Fleets    ADEPT@???.com    21 Sep 1996 10:28:23
Re: Size of Fleets    Eugene Shumu1insky    22 Sep 1996 05:58:41

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