Author Topic: The War Compendium  (Read 34276 times)

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Rejakor

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Re: The War Compendium
« Reply #60 on: March 11, 2011, 11:32:54 AM »
JaronK is referring to infectious bioweapons - superbugs et al.  Any research being done on them is swathed in gallons of military secrecy and probably discontinued.

Wights are more like a superbug than a chemical weapon.  They can cause the undead armageddon.  A wizard is individually powerful, but is not, on his own, the cause for an exponentially increasing curve of 'all life on earth dies'.

JaronK

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Re: The War Compendium
« Reply #61 on: March 11, 2011, 12:03:25 PM »
We're talking the wealth of nations.  You can't afford to heavily equip every soldier on the battlefield, but a small strike force can easily be well equipped.  And you don't need to hit the original wight, just one of the higher up field commanders.

I just need one clear shot on your field commander, if he's controlled you army now works for me.
...
No need to hit the main guy.  Just hit one of the field commanders.  Remember, wights don't have telepathic control, and you ordered everyone to follow whichever field commander you just put in charge.  If he gets controlled, everyone follows him.
Not really.

Noticing someone is being dominated is a simple sense motive DC 15. Wraiths aren't mindless, so they will notice when one of them is being mind controlled. You mind control a wight, some of the other wight officers will notice and take it down. Prepare secret keywords to override command (with the exception of the original wight). All part of the flexible leadership chain.

You ordered them to follow the leader, remember?  And they're only following you at all because of that same form of control.  Given half a chance, they'd revolt and kill you (and everything else of course).  As such, your chain is vulnerable.  If you've ordered them to follow any specific commander and that commander is controlled, and then they're ordered to go back and kill you... that army is coming back for you.

The simple fact is that wights are a huge liability that can easily be dealt with... while supply lines can be repaired and survival used to collect food, you're in deep trouble if someone rebukes/controls/commands your undead leadership.  It's really quite dangerous.  Someone out there's got to be the one in charge of the wights.  That someone is one heck of a weak point.

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As to weak living support, unlike your undead army, my living army can use Inspire Courage.  With Masterwork War Drums, it takes just 7 level 1 Bards to give an entire army +2 to hit, +2 to damage, +10d6 elemental damage, and +1 to will saves against fear.  Morale bonuses don't work for you.
Say hello to the Requiem feat from song and silence. My Bards can now buff my undeads with all that stuff as well!

You need a 6th level Bard for Requiem.  I'm familiar with the feat, it's just out of range.  It's been updated in Libris Mortis, btw.

But yeah, it's too high level for this sort of thing, so it's not available to your wights.

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My wights can do it as well with Requiem. But they don't need supply lines or rest or any other logistic problems like your living armies. And they are actually pretty solid stealthers as well.

They're stealthy but the supply line issue is countered by the incredible vulnerability to control.  It's a huge issue.

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Once more, my wights can do all of that, but better. Seriously, I would expect you to know one of the coolest bard feats out there. I'm disapointed with you. :p

I was familiar with the feat, it's just not available until level 6.  So yeah, your wights are outclassed by commoners with big bows.

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1-The USA did kept bioweapons (plus a lot of other countries). They still have military bases filled with that stuff.  

No, they don't.  The USA stopped all bioweapons during Nixon's administration, precisely because they were so hard to control and dangerous.  The Russians had a few, though.  But no, there are no military bases full of bioweaponry.

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2-Nukes are even worst, as they irradiate an area for decades.

But a nuke only hits where you drop it.  If we nuke Italy (not saying we would) then while some radiation will spread around, we really only hit Italy.  If we drop a souped up version of Marburg on Italy, it could easily end up wiping out 50% of life on the planet, including the USA.  By the way, one of my primary areas of study was Politics of Weapons of Mass Destruction.  Trust me on this one.


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Oh yes they are. A wizard with fly and stiking cloud is the very definition of a bomber with biological weapons.

That's the definition of a bomber with CHEMICAL weapons.  Chemical weapons are nothing like biological weapons.  They have moderate blowback (the wind can send it back to you) but they're not going to infect Alaska when you drop them in Italy.  Frankly, classing chemical weapons as WMDs is silly.  Consider how many people died when Japan's subway was hit with chemical weapons.  Now consider how many would have died if a simply bomb had gone off in the same situation (in a crowded subway).  They're not the same in any way, shape or form.

Frankly, I'd expect that any country foolish enough to use wight armies would get attacked by all their neighbors for it as fast as possible.

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Re: The War Compendium
« Reply #62 on: March 14, 2011, 09:17:36 PM »
If we are going to use real-world examples, then I still say that an "obsolete" army is still viable in D&D.  How many armies across the world do not even come close to competing with a super-power's military?  Just because an army has several weaknesses doesn't mean it stops being a valid army.  Maybe it's never been truly tested; their government is not in any major confilcts, they are peacekeepers, or they only serve to protect against minor monstrous threats in their theater of operation, etc...

The levels of Human intelligence is best described with a normallized bell curve.  Most fall in the average range, and people that build armies in the real world are probably mostly average as well.  Not everyone in life are min/maxers, so the armies are not min/maxed either.  Sure there are arms race escalations (better defense leads to better offense to overcome it, wash, rinse, repeat), but that doesn't lead to perfection, otherwise I'd be riding comfortably inside my custom battlemech right now.

If the best a small nation or citystate can field are wights, then they exist... but the same can be said for another small (non evil) nation that can only afford warriors and a few adepts.  Just because they can be nuked by a Celestial Host or an Abbysal Horde, doesn't mean they have in every given campaign.


My recommendation for the army that contains wights:

Treat the wights well.  Let them enjoy themselves and reward them for obeying the chain of command.  They have 11 Intelligence and 13 Wisdom.  Heck, if they buy into your propaganda, they might even enlist without compulsion.

Diversify; have multiple master wights, and include other monster types as well.

Use disguise to conceal what they are (ninja suits, great helms, etc..).  Mix them in with other creature types similarly disguised.

Keep them well fed.  If you use Libris Mortis see what they are diet dependant upon and what they crave.  IIRC, they crave flesh but require life force to stay sane.  Recruit masochists with high Constitution and Enduring Life and Lasting Life feats.  (In my mind, I also had 1 level in Binder for Naberious... but I think that's just good for vampires that cause Con drain.)

Beware divinations that lead to scry and die.  Use Mordenkainen's Private Sanctum to shelter the master wights when it becomes available.

I love requiem.   :D

Rejakor

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Re: The War Compendium
« Reply #63 on: March 15, 2011, 01:24:45 AM »
Yeah, that's the thing.

Competition.

Nations without competitive armies, (see: poland, eastern europe) have historically had their shit handed to them.  And then been conquered.  It's literally HARD to find even semi-modern examples because every country learned from the example.

People with average intelligence generally aren't the people who create the armies of countries that don't get conquered and absorbed.  Those people are generally the smarter ones.

I'm not saying you wouldn't have armies of peasants with longbows and knights on horses.  I'm just saying that you would also have armies of wizards on wyverns, and the wizards would win.  Socio-economic or geo-political reasons might let the knights on horse armies exist, but in DnD there are BETTER options.  Just because afghanistan has an army with 23 modern aircraft and armed mostly with ak-47s and robes, it doesn't mean that having an army like that is what they want to have, or even the most common choice.

And having AKs vs M16s and body armour and air support and artillery is like having a fully modern wizard and spell turret and wyvern and other monsters army vs lower level wizards and some undead and some shittier spell turret armed commoners.  Not like having the aforementioned vs bows and swords and armour and horses.  Bards + Marshals are the only thing that redeem a bow-commoner force.  It means it's a real choice.  But only as a delivery mechanism for dragonfire inspiration.  And vs single tough monsters or anti-arrow spells (wind wall) or vs single army-killing 'fifty casters in backpack' McGee, it's not so good.

There are lots of 'viable' armies.  And lots of non-viable armies. But the idea that a setting would have only nonviable armies that all conform to a medieval type is just silly.  And more than that, it's boring and not interesting.

oslecamo

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Re: The War Compendium
« Reply #64 on: March 15, 2011, 01:32:30 AM »
Treat the wights well.  Let them enjoy themselves and reward them for obeying the chain of command.  They have 11 Intelligence and 13 Wisdom.  Heck, if they buy into your propaganda, they might even enlist without compulsion.

This pretty much. If Jaronk says all his population is composed of fanatic fearless people with perfect military discipline that act in perfect syncronization and will fight to the death for you no matter what, to the point supply chains are instantly replaced as soon as they're destroyed whitout any expenses and specialized high level equipment is available at the flick of an hand...

...Then the other side damn sure can use all those wonderfull diplomacy tecniques to make a wight army loyal whitout need of magic compulsion.

Heck, wights are naturally lawfull and everything! And they know that the rest of the world hates them and would try to destroy them in sight. So promise them a steady supply of food, and they shall fight for you no matter what.

And heck, who cares if they can't dragonfire inspiration? Their average oponent still has only 1 HD! A good heavy crossbow shot will take them down whitout need of you somehow geting six exalted bards from six diferent draconic creeds.

Also new fun wight fact: the wight's spawn ability works regardless of the method you used to kill the oponent! So wights with heavy crossbows not only kill all those living oponents at range just fine, they make them rise as wights whitout needing to get close!

Prime32

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Re: The War Compendium
« Reply #65 on: March 15, 2011, 01:37:45 AM »
Also new fun wight fact: the wight's spawn ability works regardless of the method you used to kill the oponent! So wights with heavy crossbows not only kill all those living oponents at range just fine, they make them rise as wights whitout needing to get close!
Is there a way to combine this with Distant Shot and d2 crusader? :D
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The tier system in a nutshell:
[spoiler]Tier 6: A cartographer.
Tier 5: An expert cartographer or a decent marksman.
Tier 4: An expert marksman.
Tier 3: An expert marksman, cartographer and chef who can tie strong knots and is trained in hostage negotiation or a marksman so good he can shoot down every bullet fired by a minigun while armed with a rusted single-shot pistol that veers to the left.
Tier 2: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything, or the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.
Tier 1: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything and the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.[/spoiler]

JaronK

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Re: The War Compendium
« Reply #66 on: March 15, 2011, 01:57:28 AM »
Treat the wights well.  Let them enjoy themselves and reward them for obeying the chain of command.  They have 11 Intelligence and 13 Wisdom.  Heck, if they buy into your propaganda, they might even enlist without compulsion.

This pretty much. If Jaronk says all his population is composed of fanatic fearless people with perfect military discipline that act in perfect syncronization and will fight to the death for you no matter what, to the point supply chains are instantly replaced as soon as they're destroyed whitout any expenses and specialized high level equipment is available at the flick of an hand...

You realize that the army I put together wasn't fanatic fearless people, but rather an army made up of 98% untrained level 1 Commoners, right?

Seriously, that's a totally viable army for this scenario.  The Missile Volley option doesn't care about BAB or even proficiency.   You just need one commander who's capable of hitting an AC of 5 with BAB+Int-Range Increment Penalty, 6 Bards to provide damage boosts, and a lot of long range weapons (Compound Greatbows are preferable.  Repeating Heavy Crossbows are solid too.  Longbows or Heavy Crossbows would also work.

And that's the thing... this works with nothing but level 1 characters, most of which don't even need any form of training (though you would want them to have an Str of 10).  You could just store the bows somewhere and pass them out when you want to have this emergency army... all the Commoners have to do is stand in a specific spot and shoot where you tell them.  They do get a boost to their fear resistance from the Bardic help, of course, and it's a good idea to scatter some Marshals and Crusaders in the lot of them.

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And heck, who cares if they can't dragonfire inspiration? Their average oponent still has only 1 HD! A good heavy crossbow shot will take them down whitout need of you somehow geting six exalted bards from six diferent draconic creeds.

Exalted?  No, they can be level 1 Kobolds.  I think it's reasonable for an entire kingdom to figure out how to get 5 Kobolds of different heritages trained up per army... and VERY well paid.  It's a good way to make friends with the local Kobold population too!

So here's a thought: can you actually make an effective army that doesn't require a bunch of higher level guys or undead that want to eat your living people and that function as bio weapons?  And with considerations for what happens AFTER the war when the living population is now outnumbered by the dead and there's wights everywhere?

JaronK

Prime32

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Re: The War Compendium
« Reply #67 on: March 15, 2011, 02:33:42 AM »
So here's a thought: can you actually make an effective army that doesn't require a bunch of higher level guys or undead that want to eat your living people and that function as bio weapons?  And with considerations for what happens AFTER the war when the living population is now outnumbered by the dead and there's wights everywhere?
The Khorvairians had the right idea. Warforged can't become wights, and neither can Karrnathi skeletons/zombies.
My work
The tier system in a nutshell:
[spoiler]Tier 6: A cartographer.
Tier 5: An expert cartographer or a decent marksman.
Tier 4: An expert marksman.
Tier 3: An expert marksman, cartographer and chef who can tie strong knots and is trained in hostage negotiation or a marksman so good he can shoot down every bullet fired by a minigun while armed with a rusted single-shot pistol that veers to the left.
Tier 2: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything, or the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.
Tier 1: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything and the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.[/spoiler]

oslecamo

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Re: The War Compendium
« Reply #68 on: March 15, 2011, 02:51:36 AM »
You realize that the army I put together wasn't fanatic fearless people, but rather an army made up of 98% untrained level 1 Commoners, right?
"Untrained" commoners that all fire volleys in perfect syncronization, march perfectly all day long and never question orders, sure.

Seriously, that's a totally viable army for this scenario.  The Missile Volley option doesn't care about BAB or even proficiency.   You just need one commander who's capable of hitting an AC of 5 with BAB+Int-Range Increment Penalty, 6 Bards to provide damage boosts, and a lot of long range weapons (Compound Greatbows are preferable.  Repeating Heavy Crossbows are solid too.  Longbows or Heavy Crossbows would also work.
You also need:
-Line of sight and effect since not every battlefield is featurless plains.
-For your lv 1 commander to spot the wights with their hide +8, move silently +16.
-That your army simply doesn't starve to death when it's supplies are cut and you're trying to catch up with an enemy that can march whitout stop.
-That the wights can't fire those volleys themselves and kill your army in the suprise round they're assured to get since they not only are better stealthers, they never need to stop to set camp or any other living need.


And that's the thing... this works with nothing but level 1 characters, most of which don't even need any form of training (though you would want them to have an Str of 10).  You could just store the bows somewhere and pass them out when you want to have this emergency army... all the Commoners have to do is stand in a specific spot and shoot where you tell them.  They do get a boost to their fear resistance from the Bardic help, of course, and it's a good idea to scatter some Marshals and Crusaders in the lot of them.
Then you really don't have NPC army, you have an army of Lv 1 NPCs. And crusaders work for wights as well, don't remember if the Marshal's auras are mind-affecting or not.

Really, I don't even need the lv 1 wizard anymore. One holy arrow and some experts with diplomacy are enough to start the chain. You just keep throwing more and more lv 1 pcs, in wich case you would be off better training spellcasters and start some serious cooperative spellcasting.

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And heck, who cares if they can't dragonfire inspiration? Their average oponent still has only 1 HD! A good heavy crossbow shot will take them down whitout need of you somehow geting six exalted bards from six diferent draconic creeds.

Exalted?  No, they can be level 1 Kobolds.  I think it's reasonable for an entire kingdom to figure out how to get 5 Kobolds of different heritages trained up per army... and VERY well paid.  It's a good way to make friends with the local Kobold population too!
You mean the chaotic evil kobols that will quickly realize they can just as easily raze your kingdom and take your riches once they learn of those tactics?

So here's a thought: can you actually make an effective army that doesn't require a bunch of higher level guys or undead that want to eat your living people and that function as bio weapons?  
Can you do an effective army that doesn't require armies of PCs backing them up, or living mini-dragons that probably want to eat your your living people as well and that are renowed for being cruel sadists that would kill and barbecue everybody else if given the chance?

Wights at least are lawfull. They can be reasoned with. They'll understand that there's more to gain from conquering and breeding humanoids than mindless destruction. And unlike kobolds, they can't provide their own NPC support, so they need the living on my side.

And with considerations for what happens AFTER the war when the living population is now outnumbered by the dead and there's wights everywhere?
Once the kobolds raze your kingdom, and I raze the kobolds, I shall set up kobold farms. Damn little bastards reproduce pretty quickly or so I heard. Make sure the wights properly finish their meals so there's nothing left to rise. Prepare to conquer next kingdom.


Prime32:
I already had sugested warforged as tireless army that doesn't need supply, but Jaronk dismissed them as extremely rare and expensive constructs for some random reason.

JaronK

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Re: The War Compendium
« Reply #69 on: March 15, 2011, 03:40:58 AM »
You realize that the army I put together wasn't fanatic fearless people, but rather an army made up of 98% untrained level 1 Commoners, right?
"Untrained" commoners that all fire volleys in perfect syncronization, march perfectly all day long and never question orders, sure.

March 8 hours, not all day.  Any longer and they have problems.  And yes, by RAW there is no training required to all fire when the commander says fire.  As for questioning orders, that's morale checks.  Moral checks are boosted by anything that helps on saves against fear, such as Marshal auras, Bolstering Voice, and Bardic Music... which is exactly what's boosting that whole army. 

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You also need:
-Line of sight and effect since not every battlefield is featurless plains.

Nope, cover and concealment don't apply to Volley Fire.  Line of Effect is for spells.  Anything less than a roof over their heads has no effect.  See Complete Warrior.

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-For your lv 1 commander to spot the wights with their hide +8, move silently +16.

You were talking about a giant horde sized army.  And even he doesn't have to see anything... if anyone can tell him where to fire, all he has to do is target the spot.

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-That your army simply doesn't starve to death when it's supplies are cut and you're trying to catch up with an enemy that can march whitout stop.

Or, you know, I could just hold a town/city/border this way.  Armies of level 1 Commoners are militia defenders, not strike forces.  Not to mention the Infested With Chickens flaw is available to a Commoner 1 and can feed an army... so really it's only water and arrows/bolts that are needed.

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-That the wights can't fire those volleys themselves and kill your army in the suprise round they're assured to get since they not only are better stealthers, they never need to stop to set camp or any other living need.

Surprise round is for skirmishes, not army battles.  This is army battles we're talking about here.  The guys who are there to prevent giant ambushes aren't the full army groups... it's the scouts and elite types with proper class levels and things.

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Then you really don't have NPC army, you have an army of Lv 1 NPCs. And crusaders work for wights as well, don't remember if the Marshal's auras are mind-affecting or not.

The Crusaders were for Bolstering Voice... it's morale, so no go.

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Really, I don't even need the lv 1 wizard anymore. One holy arrow and some experts with diplomacy are enough to start the chain. You just keep throwing more and more lv 1 pcs, in wich case you would be off better training spellcasters and start some serious cooperative spellcasting.

Wights start out hostile to living things they want to eat.  How is a low level expert going to have enough diplomacy to do anything?

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You mean the chaotic evil kobols that will quickly realize they can just as easily raze your kingdom and take your riches once they learn of those tactics?

Seriously?  You think 6 kobolds are going to raze your kingdom, but a giant army of self replicating wights is just fine once you have a few level 1 experts chat with them for a time?  Kobolds aren't exactly known for being able to summon huge hordes.  Wights... well it's called the wightocolypse for a reason.

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Can you do an effective army that doesn't require armies of PCs backing them up, or living mini-dragons that probably want to eat your your living people as well and that are renowed for being cruel sadists that would kill and barbecue everybody else if given the chance?

It's nothing but level 1 characters, the vast majority of which being NPCs.  The total backup for these guys is 7 bards (1 with Masterwork War Drums, one with regular War Drums, and 5 Dragonfire Inspiration with Masterwork War Drums), as well as one Marshal or Crusader for every 100 or so troopers, one spotter of undetermined class (preferably decent BAB and Int, but even that isn't too critical since he's targeting an AC of 5), and whoever's actually commanding the army.  You call that an army of PCs backing them up?

Also, read Races of the Dragon.  Kobolds aren't cruel sadists who would kill and barbecue everyone.  They mostly want to be left alone to mine and accumulate gold and gems.  If you make a deal with them like "give us a few bards to train in our army and we'll use that army to help protect your mining claims in X region from all outsiders, plus throw some extra gems your way" they'll be quite happy.  They only hate everyone who dares take their stuff.

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Wights at least are lawfull. They can be reasoned with. They'll understand that there's more to gain from conquering and breeding humanoids than mindless destruction. And unlike kobolds, they can't provide their own NPC support, so they need the living on my side.

Yeah, you really should read up on Kobolds in Races of the Dragon before saying stuff like this.  You've got Kobolds all wrong... and wights too.  The Wights will eat you even if you manage to roll a 20 on that low level Expert's Diplomacy check (remember, Diplomacy makes them like you at best... and it's a DC 35 check just to make a hostile predator creature treat you as anything other than a potential snack).

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Prime32:
I already had sugested warforged as tireless army that doesn't need supply, but Jaronk dismissed them as extremely rare and expensive constructs for some random reason.

Because you don't know that you can build them.  If you can get a bunch of them, go for it.  If not... then what?  I'll buy "I get a few warforged for some elite units" but not "I can always get an army's worth of them."

JaronK

Solo

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Re: The War Compendium
« Reply #70 on: March 15, 2011, 03:44:47 AM »
Once again, Oscalemo learns that you really should put more thought into criticizing something than the person who proposed it.

"I am the Black Mage! I cast the spells that makes the peoples fall down!"

The Legend RPG, which I worked on and encourage you to read.

Prime32

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Re: The War Compendium
« Reply #71 on: March 15, 2011, 11:46:01 AM »
I already had sugested warforged as tireless army that doesn't need supply, but Jaronk dismissed them as extremely rare and expensive constructs for some random reason.
Because you don't know that you can build them.  If you can get a bunch of them, go for it.  If not... then what?  I'll buy "I get a few warforged for some elite units" but not "I can always get an army's worth of them."
Except that being an army is kind of the entire point of warforged.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2011, 08:27:13 PM by Prime32 »
My work
The tier system in a nutshell:
[spoiler]Tier 6: A cartographer.
Tier 5: An expert cartographer or a decent marksman.
Tier 4: An expert marksman.
Tier 3: An expert marksman, cartographer and chef who can tie strong knots and is trained in hostage negotiation or a marksman so good he can shoot down every bullet fired by a minigun while armed with a rusted single-shot pistol that veers to the left.
Tier 2: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything, or the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.
Tier 1: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything and the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.[/spoiler]

JaronK

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Re: The War Compendium
« Reply #72 on: March 15, 2011, 02:49:23 PM »
Except that being an army is kind of the entire point of warforged.

Well yeah.  And if you've got 'em, use 'em!  But when people start talking of using army sized units, I start thinking of demographics and available troops.  If your army would only work under specific circumstances (such as "there's already a standing army of 1000 warforged") then it's less useful than one which could be used by any kingdom (such as "you've got 1000 people, untrained, with any random class levels, feats, and skills").  The former is great if you have it, but the latter is available to pretty much anyone.

So, when I think of these things, I try to use demographics from the DMG as a baseline.  The "mixed" demographics (which are probably pretty standard) has 79% humans.  Now, obviously that's from before the other races existed, but even the most populous race besides humans is only 9% of the population.  If you threw in all the other races, the percentages should really go down, so I doubt any one race except humans is going to be all that common.  If your army idea only involves one less common race (less common here meaning less common than humans) then it's really not utilizing available resources at all.  Sure, a few Warforged units would be great, and a standing army of them even better, but I wouldn't want to count on being able to manage a whole war effort with just them (and the supply line issue becomes a factor the moment you bring in anyone else).

Of course, just one Commoner with Infested with Chickens at level 1 can indeed feed an army, so there's that possible solution.

JaronK

oslecamo

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Re: The War Compendium
« Reply #73 on: March 16, 2011, 02:32:05 AM »
March 8 hours, not all day.  Any longer and they have problems.  And yes, by RAW there is no training required to all fire when the commander says fire.  As for questioning orders, that's morale checks.  Moral checks are boosted by anything that helps on saves against fear, such as Marshal auras, Bolstering Voice, and Bardic Music... which is exactly what's boosting that whole army. 
Well wights march all day long. They can move triple what you move. Easy outmaneuvering right there.

Nope, cover and concealment don't apply to Volley Fire.  Line of Effect is for spells.  Anything less than a roof over their heads has no effect.  See Complete Warrior.
Cover and concealment are for the wights to hide. Living army won't fire if they don't know there's wights there.

You were talking about a giant horde sized army.  And even he doesn't have to see anything... if anyone can tell him where to fire, all he has to do is target the spot.
Just because it's horde doesn't mean they're foolishly clumped in a giant ball. And unless you're blindly firing at every terrain feature, well, you won't know when to fire untill you're being fired at.

Or, you know, I could just hold a town/city/border this way.  Armies of level 1 Commoners are militia defenders, not strike forces.  Not to mention the Infested With Chickens flaw is available to a Commoner 1 and can feed an army... so really it's only water and arrows/bolts that are needed.
Since when is chicken-infested official published material? It was an 1st of April joke last time  I checked.

And even if it was serious, the number of implications it creates (no more starvation for anyone, ecosystem destruction from endless chickens)... Well, my side will just make that knowledge check, get a candle of invocation and go to town.

Surprise round is for skirmishes, not army battles.  This is army battles we're talking about here.  The guys who are there to prevent giant ambushes aren't the full army groups... it's the scouts and elite types with proper class levels and things.
Who said we're playing by your custom army rules (as there's no official army movement/start of engagement rules last time I checked)? They're all still individuals, with their own skills and checks and vulnerable to attacks. You don't have an "army organization pause screen" where you can safely let your troops rest and organize them.

And heck, by all means send your scouts alone, they'll make fine additions to the wight army.

The Crusaders were for Bolstering Voice... it's morale, so no go.
You're still relying on an army of PCs to cover up for your NPC army.

Quote
Really, I don't even need the lv 1 wizard anymore. One holy arrow and some experts with diplomacy are enough to start the chain. You just keep throwing more and more lv 1 pcs, in wich case you would be off better training spellcasters and start some serious cooperative spellcasting.

Wights start out hostile to living things they want to eat.  How is a low level expert going to have enough diplomacy to do anything?
Like I already said, carry the bodies to a cell before they turn into wights. Lock cell. Talk to wight. Profit with Aid another.


Seriously?  You think 6 kobolds are going to raze your kingdom, but a giant army of self replicating wights is just fine once you have a few level 1 experts chat with them for a time?  Kobolds aren't exactly known for being able to summon huge hordes.  Wights... well it's called the wightocolypse for a reason.
The 6 kobolds alone of course not, but once they warn their thousands of brothers, hell yes. There's a reason they're considered one of the staple horde races.

It's nothing but level 1 characters, the vast majority of which being NPCs.  The total backup for these guys is 7 bards (1 with Masterwork War Drums, one with regular War Drums, and 5 Dragonfire Inspiration with Masterwork War Drums), as well as one Marshal or Crusader for every 100 or so troopers, one spotter of undetermined class (preferably decent BAB and Int, but even that isn't too critical since he's targeting an AC of 5), and whoever's actually commanding the army.  You call that an army of PCs backing them up?
Yes, because you forgot to include the 1000 PCs you would need to watch over your NPC army from all sides while they rest and somehow out-scout the wights wich have plain superior stats.

And then multiple armies of those, as you need to cover your whole borders, as one single lone wight slipping trough to a village will unleash hell.

Also, read Races of the Dragon.  Kobolds aren't cruel sadists who would kill and barbecue everyone.  They mostly want to be left alone to mine and accumulate gold and gems.  If you make a deal with them like "give us a few bards to train in our army and we'll use that army to help protect your mining claims in X region from all outsiders, plus throw some extra gems your way" they'll be quite happy.  They only hate everyone who dares take their stuff.
What you just described sounds awfully like dwarfs. That fluff was clearly made by a kobold fanboy (nevermind all the crunch goodies it give them), and clearly contradicts many other sources of D&D fluff, including the core MM itself that puts them as evil and suicide-charging gnomes on sight. 

Yeah, you really should read up on Kobolds in Races of the Dragon before saying stuff like this.  You've got Kobolds all wrong... and wights too.
I override your random supplement fluff with the core fluff. You were the one who insisted so much in DMG seting after all, not Races of the Dragon seting.

  The Wights will eat you even if you manage to roll a 20 on that low level Expert's Diplomacy check (remember, Diplomacy makes them like you at best... and it's a DC 35 check just to make a hostile predator creature treat you as anything other than a potential snack).
Aid another. That's why you're using multiple experts silly.

Because you don't know that you can build them.  If you can get a bunch of them, go for it.  If not... then what?  I'll buy "I get a few warforged for some elite units" but not "I can always get an army's worth of them."
So you're all fine with "kobolds are actually ugly LG dwarves" fluff from a random biased supplement, but you automatically discard the multiple warforged armies that show up right on one of the most popular and detailed campaign settings of all times?

Just take a look!
[spoiler][/spoiler]
Hundreds of warforged as far as the eye can see! A full legion of them holding the line! And that was just for some nameless border skirmish!

Of course, just one Commoner with Infested with Chickens at level 1 can indeed feed an army, so there's that possible solution.
Ignoring for a moment that the wight army can level-drain chickens (with the level-drain rules, not with the actual wight spawn ability that only works on humanoids) to create an unending horde of wights that will blot out the sun from their capital, or all the other better shenigans you can pull out with chicken-infested, and ignoring that the feat isn't really legal anyway... Your army still needs to drink water. And again wights can afford to poison every source.

Bozwevial

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Re: The War Compendium
« Reply #74 on: March 16, 2011, 02:56:09 AM »
Could you cast Purify Food and Drink on chicken blood? :p


Kajhera

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Re: The War Compendium
« Reply #76 on: March 16, 2011, 03:27:59 AM »
Could you cast Purify Food and Drink on chicken blood? :p
You could. It would still be chicken blood tough. Could work for some time, but eventually they'll get de-hydrated anyway whitout actual water.

*glances in* Why are you able to cast purify food and drink without being able to cast create water?

Bozwevial

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Re: The War Compendium
« Reply #77 on: March 16, 2011, 03:33:33 AM »
Could you cast Purify Food and Drink on chicken blood? :p

You could. It would still be chicken blood tough. Could work for some time, but eventually they'll get de-hydrated anyway whitout actual water.
The idea was that everything but the water in the blood is considered a contaminant. Bit of a stretch, probably.

*glances in* Why are you able to cast purify food and drink without being able to cast create water?
If you're as low level as possible, one cantrip slot could create two gallons of pure water or purify eight gallons of chicken blood. More efficient, although I suppose if you could maybe distill the blood instead...

Kajhera

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Re: The War Compendium
« Reply #78 on: March 16, 2011, 03:40:56 AM »
Could you cast Purify Food and Drink on chicken blood? :p

You could. It would still be chicken blood tough. Could work for some time, but eventually they'll get de-hydrated anyway whitout actual water.
The idea was that everything but the water in the blood is considered a contaminant. Bit of a stretch, probably.

*glances in* Why are you able to cast purify food and drink without being able to cast create water?
If you're as low level as possible, one cantrip slot could create two gallons of pure water or purify eight gallons of chicken blood. More efficient, although I suppose if you could maybe distill the blood instead...

Caster's a first-level adept? Cleric could get eight gallons with Create Water.

Bozwevial

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Re: The War Compendium
« Reply #79 on: March 16, 2011, 03:44:11 AM »
At first level? CL 1 is 2 gallons, unless I'm making some sort of mistake.