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Old 06-19-2015, 10:55 AM   #1
kracht
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Italy
Default [Banestorm] Your Megalos

Hi everybody,

I write to hear the opinions and experience of those of you who are fans of the Yrth setting. I have always liked it a lot. In the early years 2000s, my last attempt at gaming with my old group was to play a siege of Blythe by lizard men (in Banestorm 4e I read that Blythe was in fact taken by lizard men in 2001, so I was canonized, apparently!).

Something that has always intrigued me (and bugged me) was the relative underdevelopment of Megalos, as opposed to Caithness or Cardiel. How did you fleshed out the Empire, aesthetically, technologically and so on? Do you imagine it on analogy to the Holy Roman Empire? Do you take the stated inspiration by the original Roman Empire more literally?

More specifically, how do you imagine the Megalan legions? The official sources diverge on this topic. The 3e Mass Combat rules (Compendium II) note in passing that pikemen are the standard troop type in the legions, while 4e MA: Yrth Fighting Styles present the legionaries as spearmen with shields. This might make a pretty big difference. If the former is the case, one could even imagine an equivalent of the real world pike-and-shot approach, in the form of pike-and-magic missile. What do you think?
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Old 06-19-2015, 12:49 PM   #2
Railstar
 
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Your Megalos

On pike-and-magic missile, I think there are not enough mages to make a valid substitute for shot. You could use war wizards for a few key blasts in certain places, but not in the numbers or with the frequency required to take the role of pike-and-shot tactics. I like the more subtle approach of communication systems (co-ordinating forces from long distances, giving a strategic rather than tactical advantage) or area denial with cloud-like spells and so on.

In this way I think wooden shields would be even more important if blasting spells are involved. A shield would not stop a cannon ball, but it could reasonably save you from a 3d exploding fireball.

Pavise-like tactics would make a lot of sense, or crossbowman and shield-bearer teams, with the spearman armed with a large shield providing cover for the crossbowmen as a combined arms formation.

I see Megalos as a Roman-like central government as the overall authority over relatively feudal duchies or counties and so on. So the individual states and cities are more medieval, akin to the HRE, but there is a much stronger authority from the Empire itself as an overarching bureaucracy atop it all. So the knights and rural areas seem far more conventionally medieval, or high-late medieval at least (early plate armour, late transitional) while the urban centres have a more Roman aesthetic.

Generally the arenas, practise of slavery and so on seem far more Roman Empire of Antiquity than HRE.

Most of the Legions wear mail, implying a developed infrastructure for such a labour-intensive armour to make. People do wear trousers though in my image of Megalos. I kind of envision a level of “medieval people trying to look Roman” going on, with Roman trappings layered over the medieval aesthetic.

Quality of life is generally higher than either medieval or Roman – it has the high TL of a medieval setting with the greater infrastructure of a Roman setting, so I like to look at fancy medieval inventions like the central heating systems, and make them more commonplace.

I think the contrasts are a deliberate part of the setting for Megalos. There is probably meant to be a clash between the Roman and medieval elements. Beyond that, I think Megalos is purposely a little vague based on the “Evil Empire?” sidebar. The idea is it is flexible enough to be a dystopia or a simply authoritarian government depending on what you prefer.
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Old 06-19-2015, 01:51 PM   #3
kracht
 
Join Date: May 2015
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Your Megalos

Well said: the strong centralization is certainly a difference from the HRE. As for pike and shot, yeah, perhaps it was a bit of a stretch. A combination of spearmen and crossbowmen was in fact suggested in MA:YFS, so I guess it has a certain degree of "officiality". If I had to choose, I would probably go for that idea myself, even though pike squares plus magic sound pretty cool, I must confess.
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Old 06-19-2015, 04:35 PM   #4
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Your Megalos

YFS was what gave me the idea: I just went with the most logical combination I could think of for spearmen + crossbowmen.

If you really like the idea of pike-squares plus magic, I could easily see the Templars combining a dismounted lancer (using a Reach 4 lance as a quasi-pike while on foot) and a war wizard together in small units, so these would essentially be the war wizards + bodyguards, who form up together into pike-and-spell formations if under threat. It might only be around one unit of 50-80 guys in a Legion, but it would be a way to incorporate pike-squares + magic without bending the setting too far.

One justification of it could be that the regular infantry have more to worry about archers (so they rely more on shields), while the principle concern of the Templar war wizards is being charged down by a small unit that manages to get behind the main force (hence quasi-pikes).
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Old 06-19-2015, 04:46 PM   #5
kracht
 
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Your Megalos

Yes, Templar wizards, the school in Azer etc. were definitely interesting bits of setting that one could elaborate upon when fleshing out Megalos. In general, I have always found that the idea that the main school of magic in the setting was a military academy is an interesting spin on the subject, and pretty plausible one also. Today, after Harry Potter, it feels even fresher in my opinion.
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Old 06-20-2015, 04:18 AM   #6
kracht
 
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Your Megalos

Also, as for your proposal about infrastructures, I guess that even a limited number of well trained wizards might come handy in civil engineering. They might concur in making bridges, aqueducts, city walls stronger and/or build them faster. Maybe there might be another school, a civil counterpart to the one in Azer, who trains mages/engineers.
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