Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Fighting humans in ancient times

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Fighting humans in ancient times

    The 2 historical periods, Rome and the Viking eras, are awesome for a werewolf story and it begs for battles to take place on a mass scale, either with Roman Legionaries or Vikings. However, I cannot help but think that a Werewolf might be a bit overpowered considering the opposition would be just armed with swords and axes. I just wonder if a simple Basu-Ilm would come close to wiping out a good chunk of an army (though it might also kill your own guys as well...). Correct me if I am wrong but I would imagine the following.

    5 guys would be needed to surround a werewolf and wack it with axes (or Gladius) to cause enough to wrap around the damage to cause aggravated. That being said I imagine that at least one guy would die per round so it would require a new human every turn to attack. This could be possible in a massive battle I guess. Would the beat down rules apply or would Viking warriors and Legionary soldiers be considered tough and disciplined enough not to be "mooks"?

    What I am asking is, are humans in this era a threat to a werewolf in warfare or are they just chaff to be slaughtered? Both eras would involve a great deal of warfare so would humans stand a chance against Uratha?

  • #2
    With the right tactics and/or equipment and/or numbers? Hell, yeah they could be a threat. Uratha are not indestructible. And, at the end of the day, silver is the great equalizer.

    Comment


    • #3
      Well, considering that Uratha get defence against firearms in their combat forms, I don't see how much has changed in modern times.
      Except that modern humans are louder in their defence, so it's easier for Uratha to keep track of them when out of LoS.

      Really, spears is the way to go though. The increased defence is a nice benefit, but if one goes and gets the Fighting Style at 2 dots, and can bypass the Defence of the werewolf, it gets even better.
      If we are talking armies in the middle ages, Phalanx fighter and Weapon and Shield style might also be considered.
      So charging into the elite core of an enemy army is a bad idea.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think they would still be "mooks" if it was a werewolf in war form, but I would think a Viking raiding party or a Roman Centuria should not because of numbers. Since the suggestion seems to be enough soldiers to fight as a unit, I wouldn't go with the beat down rules. I would expect the werewolf would not die alone.

        I can't imagine why werewolves would participate against Vikings or Romans unless it was against a small isolated group of soldiers. I expect those groups of people would see werewolves as monsters and any group of people siding with monsters would be exterminated. We are talking about people that weren't afraid of a little slavery or genocide.

        Comment


        • #5
          You would need some supernatural help or a very weak or non-combat oriented werewolf. Once you get to werewolves with actual combat ability and five in their auspice renown, for things like Cahalith and Rahu you're talking about something that can destroy a small army with ease.

          The werewolves aren't really part of the normal platoons, so they would likely go off on their own if they were going to do anything particularly showy. Otherwise they would have to deal with Lunacy in their extended packmates, and there's the Oath of the Moon to concern yourself with.

          As Seidmadr points out, this isn't that different from modern combat. A hunter cell without any supernatural abilities or super soldiers is going to be wiped out by a single werewolf who knows what it's doing.

          If you want some group to be an organized threat against a combat oriented werewolf or entire pack, they would either have to be supernaturally empowered, very smart and aware of what they're dealing with, or have a majority of them armed with silver.
          Last edited by nofather; 05-07-2017, 06:12 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            That was something that we thought about lots when writing Forsaken by Rome. How do you keep Legions in good order when they're attacked by Uratha packs? What happens when Legionaries reveal themselves as Uratha to their comrades? Everything falls to shit fast.

            We tried to fit in more rites and fighting styles to address these questions but ran out of room. I recall working out that legionaries working in concert (as they were trained to do), using Formation Fighting Style and all usual equipment could give a fair accounting for themselves IF they didn't flee in terror (ie: if they remained together to fight as a team in formation). That 'fair accounting' was along the lines of 'could considerably hurt' the Uratha at the cost of losing a legionary every round. So in this situation, you'd want a lot of 'spare' soldiers and something to keep the legion from routing in terror.

            Combat focused Rahu are still unholy terrors who would and could tear the legion apart until running out of Death Rage and Essence. Smart ones would retreat to recover before plowing back in to whatever remained, dumb ones would exhaust themselves and be potentially slaughtered if any legionaries remained cognizant enough to act. Mostly, though, enemy werewolves were dealt with by friendly werewolves - and so long as the correct Rites had been performed beforehand the legions were mostly safe from their 'friendly' Urdeshga allies. Mostly.


            Open the gates of Hell: Random Demon Generator.

            Shapeshifting Historian
            Freelancer - Shattered Dreams, Dark Eras Companion - Forsaken by Rome

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by nikink View Post
              That was something that we thought about lots when writing Forsaken by Rome. How do you keep Legions in good order when they're attacked by Uratha packs? What happens when Legionaries reveal themselves as Uratha to their comrades? Everything falls to shit fast.

              We tried to fit in more rites and fighting styles to address these questions but ran out of room. I recall working out that legionaries working in concert (as they were trained to do), using Formation Fighting Style and all usual equipment could give a fair accounting for themselves IF they didn't flee in terror (ie: if they remained together to fight as a team in formation). That 'fair accounting' was along the lines of 'could considerably hurt' the Uratha at the cost of losing a legionary every round. So in this situation, you'd want a lot of 'spare' soldiers and something to keep the legion from routing in terror.

              Combat focused Rahu are still unholy terrors who would and could tear the legion apart until running out of Death Rage and Essence. Smart ones would retreat to recover before plowing back in to whatever remained, dumb ones would exhaust themselves and be potentially slaughtered if any legionaries remained cognizant enough to act. Mostly, though, enemy werewolves were dealt with by friendly werewolves - and so long as the correct Rites had been performed beforehand the legions were mostly safe from their 'friendly' Urdeshga allies. Mostly.
              Couple of things:

              First, it would be delightful for you folks to work out these kinds of details as a web-addition or something similar that could be purchased or even released. Unpublished appendix if you will--perhaps even to Hurt Locker? Think of it as a common problem for historical scenarios that will also come up with Thousand Years of Night--how to mesh civilizations or greater mass-combat with the incredibly lethal potential of various splats.

              "Bring your own [werewolf] only goes so far. You have to assume several things, some of which are reasonable but fly in the face of the secrecy foci--in this case the Oath of the Moon. So the legion knows about monsters? Ok--perhaps no big deal, since everyone knew about monsters in that day and age and accepted them as truth in much the same way as they accepted gods and goddesses and religions as truth. It was not a skeptical age: the night was terrifying and man's command extended as far as the firelight reached or he could build. (Another reason Rome built like crazy.)

              Were there secret mystery cults of wolf-worshipers who could, it was whispered, even turn into wolves? Maybe. Mithraism was an "open secret" cult especially among the soldiery from the first century onward. We still don't know that much about it because it was a secret even though the fact if its existence was well known. Something similar could be the case for werewolves and their rites.

              Fact is this definitely deserves discussion: for primarily tribal cultures--anything before the rise of the Nation-state, really--werewolves would be strongly inclined to address attacks on their human tribe as its defeat would severely impact human ability to thrive, and thus for their wolf-blooded to thrive. Often defeat led directly into enslavement, especially for Rome, and it's hard to imagine Urdraga tolerating that for themselves or kin just to uphold the Oath.

              So yes, tools to deal with all this would be most welcome!

              --Khanwulf

              PS. Short, short answer to the OP question? Spears. Lots of spears. There's reasons beyond cost that they've been so popular in all cultures through history. Also, monster-hunting squads would be a thing in the WoD unless every splat is super careful all the time; and they're not.

              Comment


              • #8
                The generality of what werewolves are doing in the Roman Empire and the barbarian tribes, as members of the Night and Day Tribes, is pretty well covered in Forsaken by Rome.

                Comment


                • #9
                  All very good points. I probed a bit further into the rules and found some surprising results.

                  First of all, I guess that the spear, or Pilum as it was called in the Roman army, would be a logical choice when facing a werewolf since a mighty beast like that would be similar to a bear or an elephant and the best strategy would be to hold back as much as possible. It would also allow more soldiers to stick their weapons into it. I reckon that 5 soldiers, all blowing willpower, will start do deal aggravated damage rather quickly and start the downward rollover in damage. In addition, one can argue that humans from whatever side the werewolf happens to be on might be attacking it too ("...Oh my Gods! What the hell is that THING???!!!), so the aggravated damage will be coming from all directions.

                  What really surprised me though is how durable Roman Soldiers can be. As was pointed out, the spear adds +1 to defense. But look at that Scutum (that is the shield by the way), that would add it's size in defence which in this case is 4. So a Roman Soldier, with a basic defense of 6, can have a possible +1(spear) +4 (Scotum) -2(Lorica Segmentata but with 2 armor), for a grand total of Defence 9 and 2 armor. I imagine a non-Rahu werewolf (which 80% are anyways) might have a tough time beating down 1 soldier and may only get to kill 1 or 2 before his timer is up and needs to decide if he will go into Basu-Ilm.

                  And that is just the basics, I did not even include some of the fighting styles included in Hurt Locker which involve spears and can do things like cause automatic damage or negate the defence of the enemy (check out the spear fighting style). Nor did I even factor in yet the Roman Maneuvers included in the Dark Eras book. So I guess that is how a group of soldiers, acting as a well oiled formation, can destroy a werewolf and suffer minimal damaged in return.

                  Oh, so that is why the heard must not know... got it..

                  I realize now that, not only did supernaturals get a power bump, but it looks like regular humans did too. It all balances out. One thing that did occur to me, and I noticed this back in the White Wolf days too, is that modern weapons do not seem that much more powerful than ancient weapons. Being hit by a shotgun does not seem much worse than getting wacked with a sword. Just an observation.

                  One last thought about Werewolves that gets mentioned sometimes but is really important is how werewolves collapse from exhaustion after their little fit of Basu-Ilm is done. I cannot imagine something more dangerous than going wildly crazy around your enemies and then falling apart in your weakest form. Does collapse imply being unconscious or simply too exhausted to move? One would hope that all of their enemies are dead (unlikely) or else the werewolf (or whole pack if they all went) would be at the mercy of even a simple spirit or host that happened to pass by and notice an opportunity to wipe out a whole pack as they lay powerless. That strikes me as one of the main reasons not to go into Kuruth, or try to avoid it at all costs rather than assuming it is an "I win" button.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Don't put all the weight on being Rahu. While the Rahu gains the benefits of the Full Moon Auspice, which are nice, the Shadow Gifts available to them are available to anyone, and can negate any benefits from armor or numbers.

                    Originally posted by maryshelly View Post
                    One last thought about Werewolves that gets mentioned sometimes but is really important is how werewolves collapse from exhaustion after their little fit of Basu-Ilm is done. I cannot imagine something more dangerous than going wildly crazy around your enemies and then falling apart in your weakest form. Does collapse imply being unconscious or simply too exhausted to move? One would hope that all of their enemies are dead (unlikely) or else the werewolf (or whole pack if they all went) would be at the mercy of even a simple spirit or host that happened to pass by and notice an opportunity to wipe out a whole pack as they lay powerless. That strikes me as one of the main reasons not to go into Kuruth, or try to avoid it at all costs rather than assuming it is an "I win" button.
                    Yes, Kuruth is dangerous to the werewolf, the book makes this clear many times but it's something we've had a hard time getting across on the forum. That said, with a pack or high Primal Urge, and from a Storytelling standpoint, it's more often than not going to end in the werewolf's favor. Being able to fend off a werewolf for a few rounds is one thing, ten minutes is another, one to twelve hours is going to give a rampaging werewolf enough time to destroy most shelters.

                    We usually go for exhaustion, but unconsciousness is a fair way to do it too.
                    Last edited by nofather; 05-08-2017, 08:36 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by maryshelly View Post
                      All very good points. I probed a bit further into the rules and found some surprising results.

                      <SNIP Spears, rar!>

                      Oh, so that is why the herd [sic] must not know... got it..

                      I realize now that, not only did supernaturals get a power bump, but it looks like regular humans did too. It all balances out. One thing that did occur to me, and I noticed this back in the White Wolf days too, is that modern weapons do not seem that much more powerful than ancient weapons. Being hit by a shotgun does not seem much worse than getting wacked with a sword. Just an observation.

                      One last thought about Werewolves that gets mentioned sometimes but is really important is how werewolves collapse from exhaustion after their little fit of Basu-Ilm is done.
                      Spears, rar!

                      Impaling/piercing damage is the most lethal type the human body can suffer, and tends to bleed out people fastest. That said, you have to apply it just right in order to affect an immediately disabling strike. This is why, for example, police officers end up shooting suspects dozens of times: it's not that they're bad shots, or just the effect of adrenaline (though that contributes), it's the fact that the human body (under adrenaline) keeps going until you shatter its bone structure or achieve a central nervous shot (brain or spinal)--even a heart shot will not immediately drop a person and they can operate for a few seconds before asphyxiation kicks in. For fun along these lines, read a bit about the Great Miami Shootout or find some police training videos.

                      Back to medieval weapons, however, we see very advanced solutions for killing people: the Roman spears, armor, tactics and training were the best in the world at the time and improved all the way through the crises of the West in the 3rd and 4th century. The weaponry could easily do as much damage as firearms, only the ranges involved open soldiers up to immediate response. Shotgunning a hopped-up killing machine (Urathra or not) will still get your face eaten without a nervous system hit. Spearing a fellow is great only if you can keep him away long enough to bleed out or suffer catastrophic shock... which becomes feasible in formation and/or with heavy shields. Hence, Rome victis!

                      Side point: my supposition is that the effects of lunacy would be muted by the presence of experienced troops in ranked formation, operating per training. If the werewolves wanted to make a difference they would operate as, well, wolves, and attack at night in areas of weakness, instead of jumping on the shields. That still doesn't address the Urathra in the middle of a melee, but it's likely any experienced pack would work to avoid such circumstances.

                      --Khanwulf

                      PS. Have not read Forsaken by Rome, but looking forward to it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I can't see Uratha fighting as a special unit like in some video-game against an ancient-army. I do see them, however, fighting differently. The Roman-soldiers that razed a Germanic-village the werewolves were from could return from a long tour of war to find their own villas destroyed and their own kin slain.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Iguazu View Post
                          I can't see Uratha fighting as a special unit like in some video-game against an ancient-army.
                          Blood Talons would surprise you, then.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Iguazu View Post
                            I can't see Uratha fighting as a special unit like in some video-game against an ancient-army.
                            This is the Blood Talons' modus operandi.

                            I do see them, however, fighting differently. The Roman-soldiers that razed a Germanic-village the werewolves were from could return from a long tour of war to find their own villas destroyed and their own kin slain.
                            And this is the Irraka modus operandi.



                            Werewolves are scary.


                            MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              True, but then again, that's the one thing I could never stomach about ancient-Rome; all the goddamn vampires!

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X