Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-15-2012, 07:40 PM   #1
Snaps
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Provo, UT
Default Ceremonial Magic used to support an army.

How could Ceremonial Magic best be used in an Army?

If two armies have access to Mages that can use Ceremonial Magic, what common tactics do you think they would employ?

For now let's assume that each army has 3 Mages, and each mage has 100 Supporters. For the sake of this exercise let's say that each of those mages knows every spell in the book at 15. (But I'm think realistically each army would have more mages, each knowing a handful of the needed spells and they would lead the Supporters as needed).

Let's also not bring any of the Enlarge Spells into this.

I think any of the Create Spells are going to be important. For Battle the Create Elemental spells are hard to beat, but you run into the problem of creating elementals that later on are so powerful they'll just run out of control.

I think it's also hard to beat Mass Zombie, but Turn Zombie is a pretty good counter.

I think a Spell Shield would be pretty standard to protect an armies camp and army, but this won't stop Missile Spells or Thrown Spells from getting through. It also might be too expensive to maintain, even with 300 supporters.

Is there a way to stop Telecast Spells from hitting you behind enemy lines?

Spell Mortar seems like it would be the standard. You put an area spell like Rain of Stones in a Throw Spell, toss it over your army and have it go off. Actually, I think throwing a Delay spell would be best. You could Throw a Delayed Area spell, set to go off once it reaches its maximum distance. The next round the Area spell would then go off and it wouldn't have to be centered at the impact point, you could throw it and have the delay activate it with its edge beginning at the maximum range of the throw spell (80 yards).

Not sure how you could stop Thrown spells like this, since they wouldn't get close enough to use Catch Spell or be effected by a Missile Shield. Utter or Force Dome would work or course, but I think you'd only be able to protect your mages with those.

Thoughts?
Snaps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2012, 07:55 PM   #2
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: Ceremonial Magic used to support an army.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snaps View Post
How could Ceremonial Magic best be used in an Army?. For the sake of this exercise let's say that each of those mages knows every spell in the book at 15.
That assumption makes them worth over 1000 cp. That's a little much for a simulation of "normal" magic.

For this thought experiment you need wizards who need to work for a living and don't have any easier way to make all the money they need. This will probably be quite low pt wizards.

Call it 30 spells and none with more than 5 prereqs. This is going to clear out quite a bit of the potential underbrush.

My own favorite of Rain just barely fits the prereq limits but any historical army commander would be very happy to have the powert to make it rain or not rain at his command.

This is what you need. Simple spells with low costs and large areas.
__________________
Fred Brackin
Fred Brackin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2012, 08:14 PM   #3
Snaps
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Provo, UT
Default Re: Ceremonial Magic used to support an army.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
That assumption makes them worth over 1000 cp.
Yeah I know, but like I said, it's easier to look at it this way and assume that a real army would have more than 3 mages, each with a handful of spells.

If magic's been around for a while, then I'm sure "Battle Mages" would all be trained in what they would need, you'd have specialists, etc. You'd have Battlemages who were trained at gathering Information, others that were trained to protect the army, etc.

The point of this thread is sort of to figure out exactly what spells the battle mages would want.
Snaps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2012, 08:59 PM   #4
Refplace
 
Refplace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Default Re: Ceremonial Magic used to support an army.

Weather spells are probably top of the list. Even if they mostly dont do direct damage they are force multipliers that can help your side out.
Meta spells like Delay and Trigger are also good.
Animal spells can be very effective and I played a 150 point or so mage (started 100 but was pretty experienced by this time) mage who pretty much destroyed an army by himself using Animal, Earth, Meta and Illusion spells mostly.
He had some other things going on too but those were the staple.
Move and Shape earth help you fortify better and quickly, especially with earth to stone. A bit rough solo but if your camped and have to hold a pass or something they can be a great help to you.
Cuncussion is my favorite missile spell against massed troops. That stun can really assist your archers or Calvary as they swoop in.
Mostly your big effect on the battle will be before and after it.
Refplace is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2012, 10:13 PM   #5
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: Ceremonial Magic used to support an army.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snaps View Post
Yeah I know, but like I said, it's easier to look at it this way and assume that a real army would have more than 3 mages, each with a handful of spells.
Not actually a lot of "real armies" histiorcally or even fictionally to use as a model. I'd want the riders of rohan on my side but they don't count as a "real" army.

So no, I'm not sure that even a magic-using army will have many more than 3 mages (a dozen?) and I'm fairly certain they won't each have much more than a handful of spells. Battle-mage is a crappy job for a well-developed mage and there won't be many takers for it.
__________________
Fred Brackin
Fred Brackin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2012, 10:25 PM   #6
Refplace
 
Refplace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Default Re: Ceremonial Magic used to support an army.

I think a real battle mage would be more like a noble Knight.
Not your average hireling or conscripted force for the good and powerful mages. Also it probably requires more of an education and wealthy background.
Refplace is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2012, 01:50 AM   #7
BrockNicholson
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Huntington, West Virginia
Default Re: Ceremonial Magic used to support an army.

If I was an extremely powerful mage and the country I loved and believed in was going to war I would support that effort however I could. I don't think battle mage is at all "unrealistic" beyond the part where its a wizard. Of course, if one were to think battle mages unrealistic, one could simply not include them in one's game.

I would think illusion spells cast at very high power levels could be quite useful. Screening advances and softening the enemy with terrifying visions. Also, any spell that allowed you to manipulate a large amount of Earth could have potentially devastating effects. Ultimately though, I think your battlemages would end up like artillery. They would be primarily used to destroy each other and probably have little impact on the battle.

If I were about to lead an army to war and had access to a poweful mage totally devoted to my cause, I would probably want a significant number of enchanted arms and armor. For all the awe and spectacle that direct effects on the battlefield would have, infantry that never missed would be even better.
BrockNicholson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2012, 07:01 AM   #8
sn0wball
 
sn0wball's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Schleswig, Germany
Default Re: Ceremonial Magic used to support an army.

What about affecting the leader of the enemy forces ? Reading his mind would be priceless and is less obvious than hurting him. Other Information spells can detect surprises or help you prepare yours.
__________________
No unconsenting english phrases were harmed during the writing of this post.
sn0wball is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2012, 07:52 AM   #9
Witchking
 
Witchking's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: The Athens of America
Default Re: Ceremonial Magic used to support an army.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
So no, I'm not sure that even a magic-using army will have many more than 3 mages (a dozen?) and I'm fairly certain they won't each have much more than a handful of spells. Battle-mage is a crappy job for a well-developed mage and there won't be many takers for it.
However...it does make invading the elven homeland a high risk venture...(depending on the elf template most have at least aspected magery in the racial package)...
__________________
My center is giving way, my right is in retreat; situation excellent. I shall attack.-Foch
America is not perfect, but I will hold her hand until she gets well.-unk Tuskegee Airman
Witchking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2012, 09:18 AM   #10
The Colonel
 
The Colonel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Default Re: Ceremonial Magic used to support an army.

C3I is almost certainly the most effective application of any magic that isn't an overwhelming firepower advantage - and we can usefully include appropriate countermeasures under that heading as well.
The Colonel is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:10 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.