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 Post subject: General's Hall
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 4:34 am 
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Hello all and welcome to the mighty halls of Gelure! Well, the grounds outside the halls, at least. This is a place to discuss any ideas you have for expanding the somewhat lacking description offered in the CR, no matter how "out there" it may seem.

If you come up with an idea that seems particularly worth pursuing, I'll create a thread for it. This is so we don't get a bunch of threads with 1-2 posts each (See: "The Serf's Field" under Stahl).

As of this post, I have a crash-course version of the military hierarchy sitting on my computer, it should be up about an hour from now. Anyone with any ideas on anything, post them here! I envision ideas being thrown around in this thread until they're formed enough to dedicate another thread to, then moving the discussion to that one.

The first post in that thread (by me) will be edited regularly to reflect new ideas, so that users just wanting a quick bit of info don't have to dig very far. If we hit a character/post/whatever limit on the original thread, I'll create a part 2, where discussion can continue into infinity!

Well, if you're still reading by this point, you probably have something to post. Lets see some brilliance!

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 Post subject: Re: General's Hall
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 7:29 am 
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Hello Squeejee!

As you and I are in charge of neighbouring nations, it seems that we will in some areas be working together quite closely. As you have started out with describing the military of Gelure, I will give you some ingormation on what I have worked out on The military of the Xanarians.

The Xanarian Empire is a reveneu-generating machine, and it has turned this revenue in part to upholding its military tradition, even more so since the rise of Uglub. Xanarian armies are not huge, but like the new Gelurian army, they have always been forces of highly trained and disciplined professionals. In following the Roman army tradition (heavy infantry, little cavalry) and our technology-agreements (Xanarian military technology equals earth 1450, with gunpowder around earth 1400 and everybody else behind this) I have decided that the Xanarian legions are made up of huge numbers of pikemen and other polearm-carriers. Their professionalism and high level of training enables these close pike formations to actually charge the enemy instead of being rather static defensive formations. Due to the wealth the Empire still is able to raise and due to their high sophistication in armour production (like the Romans, production by specialists in production lines in what can only be called factories) and the subsequent low production prices, every single pikeman in the Xanarian army is armoured in full plate.

On earth, the pikeformations of around 1450 could not be cracked by cavalry. Missiles might be effective, but only in suffiecient numbers and if the pikemen were not to well armoured – alas, not against the Xanarians. Other infantry could counter the pikemen, if well trained – but with the Xanarians’ heavy armour and high professional morale, this is also highly unlikely.

Back to Gelure: With Uglub raising a standing and professional army that, due to Gelure becoming economically ever more powerful, is probably becoming better and better equipped all the time, Xanarium is beginning to worry that it may soon loose its battlefield superiority of excellently equipped, highly trained and disciplined professionals.

Does this fit in with your own views on Gelure?

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 Post subject: Re: General's Hall
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 6:59 am 
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Quote:
Back to Gelure: With Uglub raising a standing and professional army that, due to Gelure becoming economically ever more powerful, is probably becoming better and better equipped all the time, Xanarium is beginning to worry that it may soon loose its battlefield superiority of excellently equipped, highly trained and disciplined professionals.


That sounds about right. I thought of Gelure's as a primarily mercenary army, with their regulars focusing on elite heavy infantry and missile troops, and prominent officers fielding heavy cavalry as bodyguards. There probably wouldn't be very many gunpowder units to worry about, but then again I doubt the Gelurians wouldn't be trying to get there. But the actual Seat wouldn't be targeted by Uglub right off the bat, unlike Farrenshire or Ouestenreich (according to the book, anyway, but it makes sense).

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 Post subject: Re: General's Hall
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 5:33 am 
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Forgive me if I'm totally out of line. I can't think of Gelure's military as being primarily, or even as extensively composed of non-natives for several reasons.

1) Gelure's military is supposed to be big, powerful, and have a lot of Gelurians (Geluroise?) in it. I know this is contradicted once, but it is stated this way in at least three places.

2) Gelure wants to expand. If they hire Farrenmen, then they can't expand into Farrenshire without losing all those troops. If they hire Dardanri, then they can't invade Dardanet. Etc, etc.

3) They use magic and have a ****-ing scary leader. Who wants to work for guys like that? Certainly not anyone religious. Or fearful of magic. Which is pretty much everybody.

4) I don't see them as being big on diplomacy. Yet if you've got Dardanri and Celts sharing the same camp... you'd better have some really good diplomacy going on to keep them from killing each other.

5) They have a kind of "submit or die" attitude that only Oustenreich has been able to get away with defying. So, they could hire Oustenreichners. But anyone else? I don't see how it could happen.

I see Gelure's military as being mostly Gelurians. Call me foolish if you like, but please give your reasons for doing so.

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 Post subject: Re: General's Hall
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 7:33 am 
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Lyrax’ view does have merit for two other reasons:

1) Napoleon’s army was mostly composed of native French, and if the same is done with the Geluroise, one can stay closer to this model.

2) The statement that “every family has somebody in the army” fits in much better with that. One could stretch this to include anybody working in some way for the army, but with a mercenary army one would still fall far short of this statement anyway. Economic realities in Antiquity-through-Renaissance nations was that they were unable to sustain an army numbering more than 1% of their population for an extended time; standing armies, if they existed at all, numbered between ½% to 1% of the population. In times of war, this could temporarily be increased. Historic examples show that even economically very powerful nations were unable to field armies any larger than 10% of their population, and even they were unable to maintain armies that huge for longer than a few short years. After this time the nation invariably collapsed; even the very best ancient economies could not manage any more than this.

So if the Geluroise army was maybe at an immense 5% of the inhabitants, a native army would go much better with “every family has somebody in the army” than a mercenary army.

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 Post subject: Re: General's Hall
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 11:30 am 
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Well I see your points, and they make sense.

Yes, putting a bunch of different nationalities together in one army is a bad idea, but I was thinking more along the lines of it being a temporary thing until the Geluroise were built up to scratch. But thinking on that it seems unlikely given the Gelurian stance on the world. I'll have to revise that a bit.

As the Gelurians are gearing for war, I'd put there army strength at 1% minimum, but with all-or-most citizens at least familiar with weapons. The primary defensive army (as regulars would be massed on the borders or out campaigning) would be militias given loosely fitted chainmail (richer citizens might be properly fitted, or even given platemail) and equipped with pikes/crossbows.

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 Post subject: Re: General's Hall
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 7:54 pm 
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Also remember that one does not have to be familiar with weapons to be familiar with combat. Wrestling is a great example of one of the arts of war turned into a sport, and it can stay pretty close to the war variety, even when done recreationally. Maybe they have a peasantry fitness program, which includes wrestling as one of the primary competitive sports? Wrestling and archery?

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 Post subject: Re: General's Hall
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 4:21 am 
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True, but wrestling is of little-to-no-use on the battlefield. When it does come in handy is in a duel-type situation, but even then your taking a great risk of being backstabbed when you initiate any kind of grapple. Also, I don't see Gelure taking the time to train peasants in archery (they could be spending that time making weapons and armors!), as my GM puts it, "crossbows are a point-and-click interface."

Peasantry fitness would be done by the General, as part of the general militia-type training. Very similar to a modern man in the reserves, but very rough (like the Common Schools in TFoB).

*ahem*

Gelurian Common School (General's Reserve)
Requirements: Gelurian Citizen, TO 4, ST 4, WP 4
[In this militia you must be stout of body and mind, or we'll make you that way!]
Primary Focus: Polearms
[Polearms are generally very useful in a defensive situation, and well improvisable/available.]
Specialization: Pike (+1)
[Cheap and easy to learn, pike formations are an important part of a Gelurian milita.]
Secondary Focuses: Poleaxes (-1), Crossbows (-2), Mass weapon & Shield, Thrown axes, Sword & Shield, Cut & Thrust (all at -3)
[All are either common weapons in the Geluroise arsenel, easily available to any peasant, or improvisable, so mobs of motivated men with any assortment of these would not be uncommon as skirmishers. Crossbow/tower shield formations would be fairly common as well, among richer areas.]
Outside Focuses: Pugilism/Brawling, Wrestling (Both -4), Thrown irregular object (-5)
[Due to common after-hours games militiamen indulge in, they should all have a background in these.]
Special: More secondaries than other schools.

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 Post subject: Re: General's Hall
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:00 am 
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Personally, I am disgusted by rules for weapon schools in ways I canot express in words, so I am not familiar with the rules for them anymore. But I noticed one thing: You make the pike the prime weapon of the Geluroise.

Proper pike formations reappeared on medieval batlefields no earlier than 1450, and while we certainly do not have to mimic this closely, I still would like to inquire if you have chosen the pike intentional and with this in mind, or if you are thinking of the model of the Swiss army of about 1410. If you do, the halberd would be the appropriate weapon for the Geluroise army, not the pike.

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 Post subject: Re: General's Hall
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:35 am 
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Squeejee wrote:
True, but wrestling is of little-to-no-use on the battlefield.

I'm sorry, but I couldn't let this pass.
We train our modern soldiers even today in the art of wrestling. This is because it's useful for them to know. The Spartans also trained in wrestling. A lot. I have a hard time believing that a medieval or renaissance battlefield would not have this in common with the other two battlefields.

If you take a thousand peasants and take 'em up against a thousand peasants who know how to wrestle, my money's on the wrestlers, because chances are the battle will involve a lot of it. And even if it doesn't involve any, wrestling is a great way to teach martial principles to a lot of people while losing a minimal number of recruits.

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 Post subject: Re: General's Hall
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 2:19 am 
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Quote:
And even if it doesn't involve any, wrestling is a great way to teach martial principles to a lot of people while losing a minimal number of recruits.


I have to agree wholeheartedly here. Most of what comes from 'learning to fight' isn't actual skill or techniques. Those are picked up when one really starts getting serious against others who are also serious. Most of learning to fight is learning to do it mentally.

You learn how to be aggressive, how to show confidence, how to ignore or control your own fear reactions, and how to read your opponant. Most importanly, you learn confidence in your own ability to kick arse, and confidence alone, will carry much of the fight.

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 Post subject: Re: General's Hall
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 3:10 am 
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stuh42l wrote:
Most importanly, you learn confidence in your own ability to kick arse, and confidence alone, will carry much of the fight.


And hence I can beat anyone :D

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 Post subject: Re: General's Hall
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 4:54 am 
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Grettir wrote:
Personally, I am disgusted by rules for weapon schools in ways I canot express in words, so I am not familiar with the rules for them anymore. But I noticed one thing: You make the pike the prime weapon of the Geluroise.

Proper pike formations reappeared on medieval batlefields no earlier than 1450, and while we certainly do not have to mimic this closely, I still would like to inquire if you have chosen the pike intentional and with this in mind, or if you are thinking of the model of the Swiss army of about 1410. If you do, the halberd would be the appropriate weapon for the Geluroise army, not the pike.


Firstly, I was under the impression that TRoS assumes a technology level of about 1450, so it shouldn't be inconceivable (especially as the book says Gelurians favor Cut & Thrust weapons).

I chose the pike because it's a relatively basic weapon to produce and learn, and when massed it can be devastatingly effective against enemies save those with ranged weapons. And the Gelurians, not those to spend a lot of money per peasant (that money's going to the regulars), would have looked into a weapon like that. Halberds, I would imagine, are more difficult to point at your enemy for any long stretch of time.

And on wrestling, I was going more on the assumtion that a mass of troops fighting in tight formation wouldn't do much grappling. Skirmisher-types would need to be more well-versed in it that others, as thier battlefield is much more likely to devolve into a mob of people killing eachother. And the peasants aren't expected to be Spartans.

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 Post subject: Re: General's Hall
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 7:04 am 
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Squeejee wrote:
Firstly, I was under the impression that TRoS assumes a technology level of about 1450, so it shouldn't be inconceivable (especially as the book says Gelurians favor Cut & Thrust weapons).


Quite so, but please do also read the technology-thread. In it, we communally established the following facts as groundwork for any development of western Weyrth:

1) The most advanced technology is at a level od about 1425, with weapon technology at around 1450 and gunpowder technology at about 1400.

2) The most advanced nation is Xanarium, with everybody else lagging behind the 1400/1425/1450 thing.

Squeejee wrote:
I chose the pike because it's a relatively basic weapon to produce and learn, and when massed it can be devastatingly effective against enemies save those with ranged weapons. And the Gelurians, not those to spend a lot of money per peasant (that money's going to the regulars), would have looked into a weapon like that. Halberds, I would imagine, are more difficult to point at your enemy for any long stretch of time.


I don't know anything of actual combat, but I know that the Swiss militia army used the halberd to devastating effect for well over a century. It was, in this function, the direct predecessor of the pike, which did not reappear any earlier than 1450. Within the technological frame of Gelure, the halberd would fulfill the same role as the pike, but if you really want to have especially the pike, one could of course easily say that pike formations are a very recent development in Gelure, copied by Uglub from the Xanarians.

But there are other matters about Gelure that interest me much more:
Have you already given a thought to Gelure before Uglub's (recent?) usurpation? Was it ruled by a royal family? And if so, was it deposed in a popular rising led by Uglub, or did Uglub take over by a coup aided by sorcery most foul? Exactly how did Uglub rise to power? What is the former feudal nobility's relation with Uglub? Are many still secretly loyal to the former king, or do they throw their lot in wholeheartedly with Uglub, and if, so, why? Did Uglub manage to wipe out the entire former royal family, or is there some distant or not-so-distant relative living in some kind of exile? And how do the Geluroise, who according to the MRB "have always been a religious folk", take to being ruled by somebody who claims to be the son of the Dark Betrayer and also looks the part? And how does this effect Uglub's hold on the land?

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 Post subject: Re: General's Hall
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 3:01 pm 
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I have written a 100 page supplement on Gelure. Its still on my hard drive and I could probably recover it. Problem is that technically its the IP of Drift Wood since it was supposed to be an official supplement for right after SATF.

Anyone on here know whether or not we can post it on the fan site? Anyone care to bug george and see if we can get his express written permission to do so?

Otherwise, I must admit that I want to incorporate a few elements of the items listed here on this page, some of which will fit quite nicely.

The main thing I want to inject though eventually is just how crucial the official use of magic in the military would be to the strategic and tactical workings of Gelure's military.


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