War Scribes

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War Scribes

Post by Arelex Orannis on Sun Sep 06, 2015 10:45 pm

So, much personal reflection has occurred, and much Skype conversation has gone on.

From the beginning, I started writing from a "Describe Yourself as a Primarch" perspective. I am a STEM major who likes techy-things. And in 40k, that person, assuming they weren't killed at birth, would be a Techpriest. Not a Marine. Other people have posted greentext summaries of their Legions. It has become apparent to me that I've not been able to, and that tells me something.

I also haven't had any good ideas for the Legion in months, and have done no writing for them. Their path forward is very unclear, and that's not really fair to any of you all.

I've had to rewrite them several times, first pulling them away from their archaeotech use, and later pulling them away from being antagonistic to the AdMech. While neither of these things were necessarily wrong, taking them away only serves to highlight now closely the Scribes follow the AdMech, and ultimately wind up looking more like Techpriests that put on Marine suits, rather than technophilic Marines. And that's not real good. It leaves very little room for new ideas and new writing. The Legion is garbled. And in many ways, very simplistic now.

Suffice it to say that I'm wondering if the Scribes should be demoted to Chapter status, and I should work on a different Legion, with a new concept.



And on a side note, something that Lumey said has stuck with me for a while now. I'm pretty shit at secondary characters, and the story as it stands is mostly about Arelex. To be perfectly honest, I don't really give a whole lot of fucks about secondary characters though, the most interesting thing about this project, the reason I posted in the first thread, is because "imagining yourself as a Primarch" is fun. I'm not trying to justify this inclination, just putting it out there.

Starting a new Legion obviously won't fix this problem, and it's the elephant in the room with me, so to speak. Before I do anything further, I'm going to try to honestly answer this conundrum, and if it ultimately turns out that My Little Primarch is what I was here for the whole time, then I'll simply bow out as gracefully as I can, since nothing can progress without that lynchpin.
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Re: War Scribes

Post by Lumey on Mon Sep 07, 2015 3:06 pm

Suffice it to say that I'm wondering if the Scribes should be demoted to Chapter status, and I should work on a different Legion, with a new concept.

Did you have a particular concept in mind? I'm not expecting or asking for anything fleshed out, just asking if there's some alternative idea here.
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Re: War Scribes

Post by Rogerius Merrill on Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:58 pm

We did some chatting over skype. The idea of a mechanized force popped up in conversation. He could still keep some of the ideas about tech, which could leave to a post-heresy falling out as the AdMech starts concerning themselves with censorship and hoarding more, while the Scribes are convinced that business should remain as usual in that department.
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Re: War Scribes

Post by Lumey on Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:42 pm

the AdMech starts concerning themselves with censorship and hoarding more, while the Scribes are convinced that business should remain as usual in that department.

I don't think that this escapes from the "Adeptus Mechanicus - but!" problem.
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Re: War Scribes

Post by Arelex Orannis on Tue Sep 08, 2015 1:02 am

I proposed a few alternate ideas in Skype, but they didn't really go anywhere. At the moment, we're trying to rework the Scribes, rather than delete them altogether. Uriel and Merrill had some decent input to offer.

That possibility's still not off the table though.
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Re: War Scribes

Post by Rogerius Merrill on Tue Sep 08, 2015 2:01 am

@Lumey:
Fully realize this. It was just an idea.
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Re: War Scribes

Post by Lumey on Tue Sep 08, 2015 2:48 am

OK. Well, obviously there's nothing wrong with talking things over, but at the moment this thread boils down to:

"There might be changes."

And I can't really give you any useful feedback to that. cat
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Re: War Scribes

Post by Arelex Orannis on Sat Sep 12, 2015 9:39 pm

Ok, so I think Uriel's suggested something that might be workable, and calls back a little to my original concept for the Scribes.

At the moment, the Scribes are a vaguely defined "Combined Arms/Total War, and also some Tech somewhere" Legion. That's not much of anything really.

Uriel suggested a true Napoleonic Era Legion, using Marines as the line troopers par excellence, capable of holding their ranks under the most punishing of enemy fire and returning shots relentlessly, accurately, and with enormous firepower. The kind of Legion where bayonets are *always* fixed. And probably radioactive. Going back to my original idea of Range > Melee, I think this works well because while melee CAN happen, it by no means HAS to happen, and you get some of that flavor simply by the design of the army, and its approach to combat.

"Shoulder to Shoulder, Three Lines Deep".

You won't see a frenzied chainsword and thunder hammer assault, but you very well might see an army of Orks speared through by the bayonets, or chopped up by officer's sabres.

This style of warfare lends itself well to the themes of shattering walls of firepower and Quality/Endurance that I like. Having higher overall levels of technology also enhances the ability of these formations to not break under pressure. The Scribes could be courageous, without having to prove it by closing to melee range. They would also likely prefer weapons that fired fewer, heavier shots, in order to break the enemy as quickly as possible. Their Long-Bolters might only have a five round, single shot magazine, but they would be of enormously high caliber and accuracy.

Napoleon was also all about the artillery, both mobile and heavy static variants. I like this quite a lot, it plays into the industrial strength of the Atalantos Worlds. "You may not be a Marine, serf, but that gun barrel you're forging will serve alongside them!"
Artillery, artillery, artillery, endless barrages of artillery. Naval artillery is the same way, this adds some justification for why the Scribes pursued having a large fleet of heavier ships, rather than carriers or fast vessel swarms. More guns, more guns, always more guns.

Coordination and strategy was an element I had talked a lot about early on for the Scribes, but never really demonstrated. Napoleon used two primary strategies, fast marching to the enemy's rear flanks and charging the center to break up enemy formations. The Scribes would likewise prefer these two techniques, leveraging the speed at which Marines can move to perform maneuvers Napoleon couldn't have hoped to match with mortal men. Charge, break their lines, break their coordination, wheel around and CHARGE MORE.


The Atalantos Worlds come about as an outgrowth of Arelex's wars in the Galactic Core and against the Overfiend of Octarius. Originally little more than deep-supply dumps and factories, the tendency of humanity to concentrate its resources, and therefore need more industry and population, which necessitates yet more infrastructure, etc, etc, etc, causes them to steadily aggregate higher populations to themselves over time. Arelex didn't intend this, but neither does he reject it.

There will always be something of a "frontier" mentality to the Atalantos Worlds, and it will likely remain a zone of relative isolation and variance/independence with the rest of the Imperium. The institutions of the Imperium will have some influence, but of the Great Triad that supports the Imperium, (Administratum, AdMech, Inquisition) only the Inquisition is likely to have a significant presence moving about that region of space. The Atalantos Worlds will never quite be in sync with the rest of the Imperium. And of course, this will cause trouble from time to time.

Arelex never really thinks of the Worlds as more than a convenient resource/resupply/recruitment point, but his Marines and serfs and fleet do start to think of them as their "home" over time. And in turn, the Worlds become more comfortable with the idea of working with Marines than many other Imperial Worlds, for good or ill. Even ten thousand years later, there won't be the same level of reverence shown to the Scribes as there might be to other Legions on other worlds.

For the most part, therefore, it is the civilians of the Imperium that truly forge "Atalantos" as a concept and a sub-division within the greater Imperium. Arelex never rules it directly (or even at all, from his perspective), the civilians treat him more of an honored advisor/Lord Protector as opposed to a regent. Indeed, Arelex would never call himself a king, because that would be going against his father. And he's not a big fan of that. The only world Arelex claims ownership of is Atalantos itself, and the handful of mining/agricultural worlds that supply it.




ROUGH SUMMARY:

I'm nixing basically all involvement with the Mechanicus, pushing that back to post-Heresy stuff. It's too much entanglement with a pillar of the Imperium for me to handle, and I don't want to redefine the AdMech by writing them in a certain way regarding my Legion.

I'm focusing more on Napoleonic Era warfare for the Legion. Amplified by Marines, backed by high technology.
War Scribe Marines will mostly use very high powered, long ranged, non-rapid firing weaponry. (Think Bolt Rifles rather than Storm Bolters). They will move in large formations, constantly applying pressure to the enemy's army from different angles in order to break them up and keep them off balance. (You won't see them deployed in units of less than Chapter strength very often). EVERYONE gets bayonets. ALWAYS.

Keeping the anti-Warp bias, the Large Heavy Fleet, the Atalantos Worlds.

Dropping the Knights/Titans. They're better off being their own thing, and I don't really need them to be so closely tied to the Legion. It's more logical that the freshly born Atalantos Worlds have 0 Titans than many. I might also drop any lingering focus on Dreadnoughts/Centurions/other heavy walkers, to not overlap with Golgothos' Legion. In theory, I should also drop the emphasis on having a lot of good tanks, too. They fit with the Napoleonic Artillery theme, but they also overlap with the Lions and Cataphracts somewhat. I'm not sure what to do about this one, since dropping that focus would leave the Scribes with just Infantry, Artillery, and maaaaaybe Aircraft.

Dropping the CHAPLAINS EVERYWHERE thing. There will still be Chaplains, and they'll still get some Anti-Warp gear, but that'll be about it. I think I've strayed too close to having the Exorcists being part of the Scribes.

I'd like to add in some of the "strategy" element to the Scribes again, but at the moment I'm limiting that to Napoleon's two primary large-scale strategies, since I don't understand strategy as well as I thought I did.

I would also like to add in a motif of "Endurance/Toughness" for the Scribes, with Arelex as their examplar. His singlemindedness, his healing abilities, his complete willingness to get shot to shit if it means his goals are accomplished.


Archaeotech remains an open question for me. In all truth, I could simply drop it outright because of how tricky it is as an author to navigate uselessness versus overpoweredness.


Anyway, bigass wall of text deployed once more. This is by no means a final decision for the Scribes, but it seems a little more coherent than anything else thus far. Apologies for any stream-of-consciousness rambling, that's just how my brain works. Thoughts appreciated.
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Re: War Scribes

Post by Rogerius Merrill on Sat Sep 12, 2015 10:48 pm

I like it so far. I only have a few issues here.
Most every Legion has every Astartes carrying bayonets. The combat knives they carry double as them.

Secondly, having an entire Legion using one specific custom-made bolter is a cool idea, but I'm not sure it's feasible. You could have an "Atalantos pattern" bolter that is often used, which has additional range and higher accuracy, but using it as a general-issue bolter is a bit much.

The artillery is an awesome thing, and fits with your ideas of the massive navy (which also fits the Napoleonic angle). The endurance/toughness motif is a good start to give them some zazz.
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Re: War Scribes

Post by Arelex Orannis on Sun Sep 13, 2015 3:16 am

Ideas about the Scribe's Order of Battle, loosely based on Napoleonic tactics and strategy.


The Napoleonic order of battle was dominated by blocks of men equipped similarly. The majority of the Scribes would march to battle armed with their preferred pattern of "Bolt Rifle", with bayonet fixed and Bolt Pistol/Melee Weapon at their sides. These Marines would represent the Fusiliers/Chasseurs, and form the proverbial "Line of Battle". They would be well drilled, and well practiced with their weaponry of choice. Volley fire with VERY heavy-caliber shells would be the common practice.

The elite Carabiners of Napoleon's army would be represented by large squads of Devastators all equipped with the same or similar types of Special Weapons. (Plasma Cannons, Lascannons, Missile Launchers, etc). These men would carry the heaviest weapons and be hand picked as the flank guard of the Legion, responsible for ensuring that under all circumstances, the jaws of the army would close smoothly and quickly around their foe, and any enemy flankers would meet with heavy counterfire that would not break under any pressure.

The elite of the elite, the Grenadiers, would be represented by Terminator Companies, the largest, strongest, most tenacious and most experienced of Napoleon/Arelex's troops. Their job is to boldly charge into the thickest fighting and the hardest fortifications, and grapple with whatever they find within. War Scribe "Grenadiers" would likely store heavy short range missiles in their Missile Racks, rather than long ranged ones. When they charge, the army follows, rushing into the gap they force open.

Voltigeurs, Napoleon's valuable scouts and skirmishers, would be represented by Recon Marine companies, well equipped with tools of sabotage, sniping, stealth, and communications. Deployed in squads of 6, these men would be the smallest, fastest, and most cunning of the Scribes.


The celebrated Cuirassiers, fated to disappear after the Franco-Prussian War, would live on amongst the Scribes in the form of Jetbikes and Land Speeders, modified to have heavier armor, bigger engines, and more powerful (if shorter ranged) weaponry. These would be used as shock forces and flankers, spearheading assaults up and down the line of battle.

Supporting the armies of Legio Secundus would be all manner of heavy armor, as is the Scribes' preference. In particular, Whirlwinds and similar units would be heavily favored (matching the Napoleonic emphasis on mobile field artillery en masse). Finally, the massive warfleet of the Scribes would be omnipresent over any significant battle, providing truly awesome firepower to the planet below.
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Re: War Scribes

Post by Uriel on Sun Sep 13, 2015 10:01 pm

Arelex wrote:This style of warfare lends itself well to the themes of shattering walls of firepower and Quality/Endurance that I like.
This method of warfare is more quantity over quality - rather than 20 bolters shooting sporadically at individual targets, its a massed-ranks volley of a larger than normal squad all firing at once.
The marines are of course as high quality as you can get fighting troops, but it's still a quantitative method of war - literally attrition warfare of the past, but amped up to its logical conclusions with guns etc.

Quality could come in with regards to drill order and discipline however, though marines are known for that anyway, so it becomes moot to mention it.

Arelex wrote:They would also likely prefer weapons that fired fewer, heavier shots, in order to break the enemy as quickly as possible. Their Long-Bolters might only have a five round, single shot magazine, but they would be of enormously high caliber and accuracy.
Having the long-bolter is cool. But changing its calibre or accuracy seems like a move too far - it detracts from the need for the massed ranks etc if you have guns that can do the job of several marines anyway.

Fire 1 bolt-action rifle vs 1 assault rifle, and the assault rifle clearly wins as it has more firepower, but fire 30 bolt-action rifles at one assault rifle and the outcome is different, because the rifles found firepower through massing together to shoot at one target.


But a legion specific bolter-variant?
That seems fine to me; Its still a bolter, in leveling terms (for the game buffs), but it allows the character to come through for the Scribes too.
Maybe its a long, semi-automatic bolter variant?

Bolter Accuracy - Boring, badly informed /k/ related stuff:
The question of increasing bolter accuracy comes up on /k/ every now and then; in theory, IRL bullets shot through longer barrels create more accurate shots as they give the bullet more time to accelerate to a higher velocity lending a flatter trajectory, and impart more spin from the thread of the barrel, creating more stability.

Bolters however, don't fire bullets, as they are essentially rocket launcher rifles. Practically speaking, they are similar to "Gyrojet" weapons, which like bolters, don't get more accurate from longer barrels due to their ballistics. So a long barreled bolter would have no added accuracy effect.

It does become a more useful ad-hoc weapon though; a passable spear-staff with an attached bayonet.


Arelex wrote:Artillery, naval fleets, and such
You could use Basilisks or at least the Earthshaker cannon, and the heavy mortars and such - 30k was much less restricted in terms of available tanks and such.
I suggest you browse Forgeworlds Site (linked).

I did mention that the Life Bringers were Heavy Artillery and BioChem, but theres was a more ww1+apocalyptic sort of deal (which is quite like the OU in all honesty...) and Napoleon's use of artillery was direct fire - ie batteries opened up on targets they could themselves see. So maybe you can differentiate by being more direct-fire artillery?

Arelex wrote:Atalantos Worlds and "the civilians treat him more of an honored advisor/Lord Protector"
If I understand this correctly, its staying how it was more or less; which means its important during the Heresy still. Thats good.
I still recommend having the Atalantos Worlds see Arelex as their figurehead, a Head of State, rather than the Prime Minister or what have you.

Arelex wrote:You won't see them deployed in units of less than Chapter strength very often
Unless backed by a tonne of IA, (which if they are, I have a perfect candidate for you)
you would need more. Say, a few chapters deployed together at once.
Napoleonic-era armies were truly enormous. It was the age of Total War.
Napoleon had over 70k men at Waterloo alone...

Also worth noting, that type of warfare is very much predicated on pitched battles with an enemy. Perfect if you're fighting Orks or Necrons (or even Nids to an extent...), but against Eldar and Dark Eldar they would likely struggle. Note that doesn't mean totally inept.
Most notably, it would struggle against guerrilla warfare (as Napoleon did in Spain!).

Arelex wrote:Dropping the Knights/Titans.

Titans and knights would be assigned to the legion as part of their Imperial Great Crusade day-to-day. All legions would have them - it would be weird if a legion had none.

Arelex wrote:I might also drop Dreadnoughts/Centurions/other heavy walkers.

Dropping special focus on Dreads, Centurions, and walkers works for you, and its not really *losing* anything from the concept, so this works. You could actually drop everything but Dreads altogether in all honesty. But that's a personal choice.

Arelex wrote:In theory, I should also drop lots of tanks, too.
You could, and you wouldn't lose anything, practically speaking.
Marines don't really go into Tank Combat anyway (predators instead of Leman Russ etc), and if you have, as you do, artillery and other support, you don't need tanks.

Combine naval firepower, the massed infantry, the bikers/speeders 'cavalry', and the plethora of artillery (which would include anti-air and anti-tank artillery), and Tanks aren't  necessary, as you have all the major components you need.
You could even lose aircraft, or at least not play them up much.

versus tanks you'd appear to be weak, except you aren't; massed firepower, abundant artillery support, and the assumption that you would dig in to defensive locations (trenches and star forts!).

Arelex wrote:The War Scribes- Napoleonic Order of Battle
These were pretty interesting, I like the carabiners. Having them on the flanks would actually be a pretty smart tactic, but could be turned against you very quickly.

Again, look into Horus Heresy era vehicles, as they were all open to the legions (Mechanicus stuff aside obviously). There are more "artillery" than just Whirlwinds!


Final Thoughts
- don't focus too much on the details. That tends to be a point where you over-complicate your concepts.

- Don't lean too hard into the French/Napoleon, it may be oft-referred to as the 'Napoleonic' age, but there were many other forces who epitomise the period too - the British, Swedish, Dutch, Prussians, Austrians, and Russians should all be noted.
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Re: War Scribes

Post by Rogerius Merrill on Sun Sep 13, 2015 10:48 pm

Uriel, you actually hit a lot of the points that I discussed with him as well which led to his previous post. That being said, Legions did NOT get Knights and Titans. They were assigned to them, but they were not a part of the unit as per Arelex's thinking. And in 30k, they got a fuckton of tanks. Astartes tank battles were totally a thing. They even had superheavies.
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Re: War Scribes

Post by Arelex Orannis on Mon Sep 14, 2015 1:50 am

The big thing about the Bolt-Rifle thing is that if you have large magazines, then you don't actually need massed volleys at all. You only need volley fire with guns that are slow to reload.

And if these guns are slow to reload, to keep them from being totally useless in the 40k universe (Where they DO have the automatic guns Napoleon didn't even have the option to choose), they MUST do very high damage per bullet.

Now, they need not be "Bolt" guns, of course. They could simply be powerful slug-throwers using specialty ammo, or even plasma rifles, using the long reload time to cool off safely. (The plasma thing might actually the best way to showcase a high impact single shot weapon, to be honest, and it'd show off the "tech" angle of the Scribes.) Perhaps their standard armament could be Plasma Rifle, Bolt Pistol sidearm, Power Bayonet, and "Close Combat Weapon". I've been looking at pictures of infantrymen of that era, they tended to be carrying a lot of gear.

But ultimately, the theming demands a massed wall of Marines, all carrying some sort of "Long Gun". That needs to stay, no matter what. Rule of Cool, yo.



Regarding artillery. I like what you're saying about the direct fire artillery. Napoleon's artillery was almost all field pieces that traveled close behind the infantry. They were not long range city-smashers, by and large. So, in that vein, the Scribes would use very rapid moving artillery vehicles, carrying shorter range but higher firepower payloads. The only canon SM vehicle that fits that criteria is of course the Whirlwind and its higher tech variants, so that'll probably be a very common sight on War Scribe rosters.

Perhaps also a "Fast Land Raider Helios", that fully commits to being an artillery piece and gives up its last little fragment of transport capacity for more engine/ammo/targeting stuff/whatever.


Uriel wrote:pitched battles with an enemy

Yeah, basically. To Arelex, this is a war to take territory and smash established powers aside. The Scribes will be slow to transition into fighting dispersed enemies. Eldar won't even really be on his radar at all, he's not concerned with tracking down Craftworlds when there's planets to be taken.


Titans and Knights are going to stay in the background. They'll be "around" but I'm not going to focus on them at all, it'll just be assumed they're part of major battles.



Regarding Dreads and Centurions though, one thing I forgot about this era of warfare is the 6 pounders, and the siege engineers.

Land Raider Helios patterns and similar vehicles would be analogously used like the big 12 pound guns.
Whirlwinds and similar vehicleswould fill the role of the 8 pounder midrange weapon.
Dreadnoughts with long range guns, like the Mortis-pattern and the "full missile" Hellfire-pattern, might do a really good job for taking the task of the light 6 pound batteries, which got right up into the thick of it with very small crews.

Centurions have cool toys like the assault drills (Armies of this time period DID occasionally run into Star Fortifications they needed to breach because the artillery couldn't), and they have Grav-guns, which also do cool things to terrain, fortifications, and foes.

I won't extend it to any heavier walkers like Dreadknights or whatever. Dreads and Cents only, and only a focus on loadout, not numerical superiority.



Regarding Tanks, I generally agree with you, with one caveat. The TRULY elite of the Scribes, the Terminators beyond Terminators, the shock troopers that triumph every time and have the mental flexibility to handle any task, those will get the bitching tanks.

This is mostly so that I can keep the "high tech" tanks that the Scribes currently have now. It also gives me an excuse to drop their numbers though, which adds plausibility and makes it flavorful, rather than a "core" component of their Order of Battle.

For example, in an average battle, there might be 70% Infantry, 10% Cavalry, 15-18% Artillery, and 2-5% Tanks.

But boy would they be motherfucking TANKS. No cheap shit, all options purchased, all bling deployed, HERE COMES THE DEATH STAR. The final trump card basically, for when everything goes to shit, and even the Terminators can't get shit done, and the naval fire hasn't finished the foe. Suddenly, 10 Elite Fellblades crest the hill, laying waste to all they see. That kind of thing.



And then aircraft.....

I think War Scribes aircraft, by and large, will be heavy transports rather than combat vehicles. They'll be almost impossible to knock out of the air, and very swift, but lightly armed. Their job is to deliver the Terminators and keep the rest of the army moving quickly and well-supplied. If the Scribes "March on Moscow", they won't starve and die in the snow, so to speak.
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Re: War Scribes

Post by Lumey on Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:19 am

Arelex Orannis wrote:Uriel suggested a true Napoleonic Era Legion

Oh-kay. So what do you and Uriel want to do with the Heralds? I made it pretty clear in Uriel's cheatsheet that Hektor's lads were Napoleonic with a Macedonian skin.
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Re: War Scribes

Post by Arelex Orannis on Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:34 am

What do you mean by Napoleonic, I guess? This new concept I'm working with is intended to be very Gunlines, Volley Fire, massed infantry, lots of fast artillery, Cavalry Charges, not very many tanks, Aircraft in more of a transport/supply role rather than offensive (since they didn't exist in that era), that sort of thing.

Is that what Hektor does? I thought they were more generalist.
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Re: War Scribes

Post by Lumey on Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:39 am

http://1d4chan.org/wiki/Heralds_of_Hektor#Tactics
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Re: War Scribes

Post by Arelex Orannis on Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:49 am

To be honest, that doesn't seem to overlap all that much. Arelex isn't really concerned overmuch with terrain, he's mostly just pounding forward with high firepower, no matter what's in front of him. And sometimes making rear/flank assaults with "cavalry".

The Agema are Terminators, who generally focus on melee. Not an exclusive concept. This new model of Scribes uses Assault Terminators too, but they're more along the lines of Grenadiers, using Cyclone "SRM-Variant" missiles to blow up what's in front of them, then moving to close combat. Seems similar, but I mean, how many flavors of Assault Terminator can you make?

Chrysaspides. They're Elite Terminators. My version of them, the true elite of the Scribes elite, actually wind up being split about half and half as hardened warriors becoming fearless tank commanders, as well as remaining Grenadiers. Again, there's only so many flavors of Terminators you can make.

Lithoboloi.  

"The First fielded a wide profusion of artillery vehicles". Neo-Scribes do that, yes.

"including customised super-heavies with awesome firepower". Nope, not this part.

The Neo-Scribes's largest artillery vehicle would be a Land Raider Helios, modified to be fully dedicated to its role by removing the transport capacity. The majority would be smaller Whirlwind type vehicles.


Does that seem acceptably non-overlapping?
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Re: War Scribes

Post by Lumey on Mon Sep 14, 2015 6:14 am

It seems like nitpicking. I mean, if you're seriously going to draw on Napoleonic tactics, the "forget the terrain" suggestion is nonsense - the best generals of the period were very much focused on the lay of the land - unless you want to write up another version of War Scribes as military incompetents who do an adequate job by virtue of hogging supplies. (*)

Let me be clear, though: I am not annoyed with you.

Uriel was told in plain language that the 1st were Napoleonic in response to a request for clarification about the basis for the Legions - presumably to avoid overlaps. I can't see any reason for him to ignore his own project when advising you on where to go with the 2nd. So I really want to know:

1. Why was that concept knocked back?
2. What "should" the Heralds be?
3. Who is going to write them that way?


*. As an aside, if you do want to go with the "never send a man where a bullet could go" type of doctrine, perhaps you should go shopping in the US Civil War aisle of military history? U.S. Grant was Lincoln's man because "he fights!" while you can give the Legion a ruthless edge by drawing on Sherman.
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Re: War Scribes

Post by Uriel on Mon Sep 14, 2015 7:58 am

It's my mistake, I forgot. (Although I proposed it as "19th century Formation Warfare, of ranked battlelines with massed firepower", not "Be Napoleon!")

Although I read the Heralds tactics back when, and I re-read them just now, and if you hadn't mentioned Napoleonic, you could easily mistake the tactics for being based on classical era; there are no mentions of ranked formations (except for literal phalanxes for Orion's fleet bodyguard) or massed gun-lines. There is also an apparent focus on charging and melee in the 1st, which isn't present in the 2nd whose focus is shooting. Though there is the inferred link in the 1st's tactics to Napoleon, with the notFlyingArtillery and it's ability to move.

The Terminators I'd suggested largely dropping, and assumed Arelex had dropped focus off of from his "in order to not overlap with Golgothos's boys"(who are all dreads and termies) comment.

So, I don't really see any major problematic similarities aside from both of you using the word 'Napoleonic', which as I mentioned to Arelex a few times, isn't the be-all-end-all of the era. You could just as easily describe the 'Napoleonic Scribes' as WHFB Empire from how they're portrayed. And I had suggested artillery batteries, but not the flying artillery, as the Scribes never struck me as "mobile" and as I pointed out, other armies are doing the mobile thing in various ways.

But with that said, if it's actually an issue, then forget it. I'm trying to help Arelex get to where he wants/wanted the Scribes to be in a way that works. We'll just go back to the drawing board, no harm no foul.
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Re: War Scribes

Post by Lumey on Mon Sep 14, 2015 11:56 pm

Although I read the Heralds tactics back when, and I re-read them just now, and if you hadn't mentioned Napoleonic, you could easily mistake the tactics for being based on classical era; there are no mentions of ranked formations (except for literal phalanxes for Orion's fleet bodyguard) or massed gun-lines. There is also an apparent focus on charging and melee in the 1st, which isn't present in the 2nd whose focus is shooting.

I really don't agree with that. Firstly, the Napoleonic Wars were dominated by the column. The 18th Century was the era of the line and it wouldn't reassert itself until the mid 19th-C, when changes in firepower made the column and direct infantry charges impractical.

Secondly, I thought that adopting the literal formations in an era with drastically different weaponry is pretty silly, so I wrote the 1st's doctrine based on the essence of the period warfare - mixed firepower and movement. This is spelled out in the first paragraph:

Battle-plans were then developed intuitively, but a typical pattern was to use the Space Marines' firepower to shape the enemy deployment before a devastating assault was launched by the Legion's elite formations.

So it's not a charge/melee army, it's a shoot/charge army. The elite formations get more time because they're the "sexy" bits of the Legion, but note that:

Almost as important as their crack troops were the First Legion's artillery... Their ability to move their guns was almost as impressive as the earth-shattering effect of the weapons.

I probably overuse the "almost as" device in that paragraph, but the key points are that the artillery is very important to them and that it's mobile artillery.

So, if you want to go to gunlines, be my guest. But it's not a Napoleonic doctrine. As mentioned previously, using the Union of the US Civil War as a basis could work well. I could also see you getting mileage out of Friedrich der Große's Prussia.

(In fact, Der Alte Fritz's origin story is Primarch tier, though it would be quite a rewrite from Arelex. If we still need to replace LCK's not so fine young cannibals, this might be a good start.)
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Re: War Scribes

Post by Rogerius Merrill on Tue Sep 15, 2015 2:20 am

Lumey wrote:Oh-kay.  So what do you and Uriel want to do with the Heralds?  I made it pretty clear in Uriel's cheatsheet that Hektor's lads were Napoleonic with a Macedonian skin.

Not sure I follow the logic about Hektor being Napoleonic. I read the tactics, a few other bits of organization, and Hektor's bio, and didn't really see a lot. There's the allusion with "Hektor is really good at reading terrain." and "Hektor loves mobile artillery." But aside from that, it's really vague. That could be just about any general since the addition of wheeled carriages to cannons.

I figured a better model to follow would have been Hannibal of Carthage, or Uriel mentioned Scipio Africanus.
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Re: War Scribes

Post by Lumey on Tue Sep 15, 2015 5:43 am

Rogerius Merrill wrote:
Lumey wrote:Oh-kay.  So what do you and Uriel want to do with the Heralds?  I made it pretty clear in Uriel's cheatsheet that Hektor's lads were Napoleonic with a Macedonian skin.

Not sure I follow the logic about Hektor being Napoleonic. I read the tactics, a few other bits of organization, and Hektor's bio, and didn't really see a lot. There's the allusion with "Hektor is really good at reading terrain." and "Hektor loves mobile artillery." But aside from that, it's really vague. That could be just about any general since the addition of wheeled carriages to cannons.

I figured a better model to follow would have been Hannibal of Carthage, or Uriel mentioned Scipio Africanus.

I'm not sure what you're telling me here. I assume that you're not telling me that I have no idea what I based Hektor on! So are you saying that my writing wasn't obvious enough, that I needed to have eagles, three grades of guard, etc. to really ram the source material down the reader's throat? Or are you saying that the Heralds should be subjected to another rewrite to make them more obviously something else instead? In either case - who will do that writing?
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Re: War Scribes

Post by Uriel on Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:39 am

Lumey wrote:Firstly, the Napoleonic Wars were dominated by the column.
Not exactly. They moved in columns, which was different, but they still fought in lines, or squares dependent on tactical situations (lines for countering infantry, squares for repelling cavalry.)
Fighting was never actually done in columns as it is extremely vulnerable to the dominant force on the battlefield at the time - firepower.

In fact, what you could say is the massed gunlines of the late 18th century fell to be replaced by skirmishing gunlines.
Though, as stated, I suggested to Arelex to long Nineteenth Century as a base, which happens to include the late 18th Century. My suggestion specifically envisaging Britain and Prussia across the long century, from Age of Revolution to Age of Empire - with a focus on the Empire side, and specifically the Industrial Revolution, which would provide fertile and untapped ground for the techy side of the legion, and a basis for the Atalantos worlds.

Lumey wrote:The elite formations get more time because they're the "sexy" bits of the Legion,
That's fine logic, but there isn't anything explaining how the rest of the legion does things. Although I did catch that they fire first then charge, both times. You didn't have to spell it out again really. The overall thing taken away from reading it was a melee focus, compounded by the pikeblocks of Orions fleet bodyguard.
(Which would suggest the Heralds as being closer to the 16th and 17th century pike&shot blocks, if indeed not closer to classical period strategems, but thats an offhand observation)

Lumey wrote:Note I mention artillery
I did note that. It's the only real connection specifically to Napoleonic warfare, as movement and terrain has always been important in warfare, Alexander the Great, Hannibal, Scipio Africanus etc all providing solid examples of why.

Lumey wrote:Frederick the Great
I had also suggested him, among others from a wider period than just the 19th Century. But that is more specifically geared towards discussing Arelex himself, rather the Scribes as a legion.

Lumey wrote:So are you saying that my writing wasn't obvious enough, that I needed to have eagles, three grades of guard, etc. to really ram the source material down the reader's throat?
There's no need to resort to strawmen. No-one has suggested anything aside from the Heralds not having as clear a theme of Napoleonic warfare  as you suggest they do, and crucially, that the Scribes and Heralds don't appear to have any overlap at the moment. (I have also suggested a few times for Arelex to lean away from France and Napoleon in general)

Lumey wrote:Or are you saying that the Heralds should be subjected to another rewrite to make them more obviously something else instead?
We're discussing the War Scribes here and not the Heralds. Not sure why you think people are calling for rewrites of the First, as to my knowledge, that has yet to come up.
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Re: War Scribes

Post by Rogerius Merrill on Tue Sep 15, 2015 8:47 pm

Yeah, neither have I suggested rewrites nor have I stated you need to ram the source material down the reader's throat. But if you want to get offended while we're trying to work out the existing issues with another Legion, go right ahead. My suggestion is that if you wanted to be uppity about taking Napoleonic themes, reference the source material in ways that do not require a history degree to interperet. In your words, if it's not on the wiki, it doesn't count. And Hektor's tactics page is about as nondescript as you can get. So I would suggest discussing this in a more open discussion method rather than immediately assuming we're out to get you.
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Re: War Scribes

Post by Lumey on Tue Sep 15, 2015 10:21 pm

Uriel wrote:Not sure why you think people are calling for rewrites of the First, as to my knowledge, that has yet to come up.

Rogerius Merrill wrote:My suggestion is that if you wanted to be uppity about taking Napoleonic themes, reference the source material in ways that do not require a history degree to interperet.
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