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Old 11-15-2015, 06:54 PM   #41
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Discipline, Law, Order and Preventing Atrocities

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
But I need to know whether the PC is dealing with a few isolated incidents, a couple of dozen, hundreds or thousands. I don't really have a good feeling for the percentage of people in a typical TL2-4 military force who will rape and murder civilians. As I noted earlier, I can find stats for modern militaries, but in all cases, the situation is so fundamentally different that these stats are useless.

Intuitively, I suspect anything from 5% to 80% may be possible as a baseline, assuming no influence one way or another from the high command. But I don't have enough data to come up with a narrower range.
I think in this situation it will be distinctly on the low end. There was no siege, a fairly small number of troops rapidly took the town, and the bulk of troops are being moved administratively to this "friendly" town, right? So the townfolk may be wogs but they aren't enemies. There is have a large, disciplined, and loyal force with strong executive support for policing. The troops are intensely busy and well motivated. You haven't mentioned that their pay is in arrears or any similar festering issues.

Seriously, I wouldn't be surprised if the crime rate dropped well below prewar levels.

Admittedly, none of that helps you find the base rate that has these wonderful modifiers. Does City Stats say anything about normal crime rates?
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Old 11-15-2015, 07:30 PM   #42
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Discipline, Law, Order and Preventing Atrocities

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
I would have to qualify the statement to which you replied as, "Few people actively IN war, enjoy it." If few people outside of war enjoyed it, we wouldn't have so damn many.
I would have to qualify that further and point out that the form of war is relevant. In the days when Upper Class Twits went on chauvauchees and everyone else got out of the way(which is pretty much what it is in the third world today) quite a few probably enjoyed war and little needs to be explained about that. In WWI people of every class had to endure mud and slime, and shells that didn't give you a chance to hit back. Patton and Junger seem to have enjoyed that but they were-eccentric. I haven't read Junger myself. Patton though, even in WWI was a mid-level officer with the power to control things rather then being cannon fodder. For most of the people on the Western Front, enjoying "playing the game" was beside the point for them because there was no game. They were just pieces and not particularly valuable ones. On the other hand what a lot of people enjoy is the sense of purpose, the comradeship and the guildlike traditions of military life rather then trenches. Those are the same kind of people that might be splendid firemen if politics had left the human race alone.
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Old 11-15-2015, 08:01 PM   #43
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Discipline, Law, Order and Preventing Atrocities

I'm new to GURPS, and not well practiced at roleplaying in general.
That said, I'm pretty well read on the 3.x Forgotten Realms books. At least for Western Faerun, (less so for eastern and southern areas, including Unther.)

I'd guess any of your troops who are Chaotic Neutral and worse are likely to commit atrocities, if they think they can get away with it. Any that are Lawful, are probably going to obey the Commander, at least to the letter if not the spirit. This is assuming you kept that element when you ported FR over to GURPS.

Your world has magic, and presumably a Detect Truth spell, so certainly proving the guilt or innocence of a suspected rapist or murderer is easier than in our modern age.

An army marches on its stomach, but I suspect magic probably helps clear that particular logistical hurdle. Did you follow General Hooker's example? That may have helped a tad, too.

I don't remember the number, or the source, for our world, but I remember reading that the same, small, percentage of people will avoid committing a crime even at need as will commit a crime even if there is no practical reward. The larger percentage was malleable based on the circumstances.

How strongly do your troops follow Oaths? Would a required Oath of "I will refrain from rape and pillage upon those we conquer on pain of being found False before my gods" have any effect on these people? Becoming just another brick in the wall, to quote a certain British band, might be a strong motivator to stay on the straight and narrow. Assuming, that is, someone thought to require such an oath.

P.S. How did I go so long without finding out there was actually a RP system that took "solitaire" play into account?
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Old 11-15-2015, 08:30 PM   #44
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Discipline, Law, Order and Preventing Atrocities

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Originally Posted by SRoach View Post
I'm new to GURPS, and not well practiced at roleplaying in general.
That said, I'm pretty well read on the 3.x Forgotten Realms books. At least for Western Faerun, (less so for eastern and southern areas, including Unther.)

I'd guess any of your troops who are Chaotic Neutral and worse are likely to commit atrocities, if they think they can get away with it. Any that are Lawful, are probably going to obey the Commander, at least to the letter if not the spirit. This is assuming you kept that element when you ported FR over to GURPS.

Your world has magic, and presumably a Detect Truth spell, so certainly proving the guilt or innocence of a suspected rapist or murderer is easier than in our modern age.

An army marches on its stomach, but I suspect magic probably helps clear that particular logistical hurdle. Did you follow General Hooker's example? That may have helped a tad, too.

I don't remember the number, or the source, for our world, but I remember reading that the same, small, percentage of people will avoid committing a crime even at need as will commit a crime even if there is no practical reward. The larger percentage was malleable based on the circumstances.

How strongly do your troops follow Oaths? Would a required Oath of "I will refrain from rape and pillage upon those we conquer on pain of being found False before my gods" have any effect on these people? Becoming just another brick in the wall, to quote a certain British band, might be a strong motivator to stay on the straight and narrow. Assuming, that is, someone thought to require such an oath.

P.S. How did I go so long without finding out there was actually a RP system that took "solitaire" play into account?
Foraging, if well disciplined can be no worse then severe rent collecting. It's the "if" that is the problem. Nonetheless if you expect to campaign in the same province next season, you should probably be fairly tight with it. Best of all(besides bringing it in from outside which clogs your supply tail), of course, is if you can buy it but not all commanders have a large reserve of discretionary funds. Wellington did which is one advantage of being a nation of shopkeepers.
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Old 11-15-2015, 08:42 PM   #45
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Discipline, Law, Order and Preventing Atrocities

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Foraging, if well disciplined can be no worse then severe rent collecting. It's the "if" that is the problem. Nonetheless if you expect to campaign in the same province next season, you should probably be fairly tight with it. Best of all(besides bringing it in from outside which clogs your supply tail), of course, is if you can buy it but not all commanders have a large reserve of discretionary funds. Wellington did which is one advantage of being a nation of shopkeepers.
I remember a Magic Item from either the Forgotten Realms setting, or generic D&D, that basically killed a tree but fed a small force for one day. It was based on the "Goodberry" spell. I can't remember which book it was in, however.
It was the clerics and the druids of the invading force's ability to call upon magic to keep the troops fed that I was referring to.
Certainly Portable Holes, at least the 3.x version, would allow for massive levels of provisioning for a force. That is, if they were being bankrolled by a wealthy patron, (which I'm assuming the PC's are.)
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Old 11-16-2015, 12:28 AM   #46
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Discipline, Law, Order and Preventing Atrocities

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Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
Foraging, if well disciplined can be no worse then severe rent collecting. It's the "if" that is the problem. Nonetheless if you expect to campaign in the same province next season, you should probably be fairly tight with it. Best of all(besides bringing it in from outside which clogs your supply tail), of course, is if you can buy it but not all commanders have a large reserve of discretionary funds. Wellington did which is one advantage of being a nation of shopkeepers.
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Originally Posted by SRoach View Post
I remember a Magic Item from either the Forgotten Realms setting, or generic D&D, that basically killed a tree but fed a small force for one day. It was based on the "Goodberry" spell. I can't remember which book it was in, however.
It was the clerics and the druids of the invading force's ability to call upon magic to keep the troops fed that I was referring to.
Certainly Portable Holes, at least the 3.x version, would allow for massive levels of provisioning for a force. That is, if they were being bankrolled by a wealthy patron, (which I'm assuming the PC's are.)
The PCs are wealthy, but wealth doesn't last if you are profligate with it. And even twelve billionaires are not really on the scale of wealth that Mulhorand and the Pharoah personally can dispose of.*

Feeding all their men with magic is impractical for the PCs. It requires a ratio of priests to combat troops that is about an order of magnitude higher than they have now. It would also render these priests much less useful in battle, as they were devoting a not insignificant amount of their memorised spells and energy reserves to creating food.

The Mulhorandi have tried this tactic, dispatching a small field army reinforced with a lot of extra priests on a forced march without supply wagons. It ended badly, as when they encountered a force of Tiamatians, Bane-worshippers, Dragon Cultists and servants of the Dragon-King of Old Unther**, the priests were not able to provide nearly as much support as Mulhorandi doctrine requires. The army was shattered and the survivors hunted by dragons, bandits and enraged Untheri shepherds across the Methtir.

What the PCs do is use their naval superiority to move supplies to the theatre of war. So far, they've operared only on the coast. They buy their supplies or they capture them from the Mulhorandi.

*Though capturing ship after ship of Mulhorandi supplies, not to mention ransoming captives back to Mulhorand, has enabled them to finance the war entirely out of Mulhorandi treasure so far.
**The PCs fought on the side of the Tiamatians; though there is no love lost between them. As long as the Mulhorandi are an immediate threat, the various factions of Free Unther might work together. After they are driven out of northern Unther, however, the threat of civil war looms larger, as there are irreconcilable differences between most factions, especially the ones that aim to establish a theocracy with their god in place of fallen Gilgeam.
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Old 11-16-2015, 02:54 AM   #47
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Discipline, Law, Order and Preventing Atrocities

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I'm new to GURPS, and not well practiced at roleplaying in general.
That said, I'm pretty well read on the 3.x Forgotten Realms books. At least for Western Faerun, (less so for eastern and southern areas, including Unther.)
The PCs come from Cormyr and Sembia, but are now citizens of Ravens Bluff. They recruit the bulk of their mercenaries from Chondath and the Blade Kingdoms, principally from the city of Reth. Sailors are recruited from Ravens Bluff, Telflamm, Lyrabar, Procampur, Tantras and the countryside of the Vast, and from the Wizard Reach.

Now that they are involved in large scale operations, they also recruit replacements in Unther. They are building several units of Free Unther troops, but so far, the only ones they take into combat are the Artisan Guards* and a battalion of strong rural slingers who deliver incendiary and explosive ordnance (and their wives, who prepare fuses). The Artisan Guards are the only ones in the PCs' forces who are intended to function as MPs exclusively, as they are experienced guardsmen and, in modern terms, riot police, but they are neither armed nor trained to contribute much to kinetic combat operations.

*Full- and part-time guardsmen from Messemprar's artican district, grown into a hardened civic militia over fifteen years of de facto independence for Messemrar, which for most of that time has been a very lawless city, in that the 'authorities' were an uneasy allegiance of several disparate groups cast in the role of rebels and they had no resources or political capital to enforce laws over powerful gangs in various parts of the city.

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Originally Posted by SRoach View Post
I'd guess any of your troops who are Chaotic Neutral and worse are likely to commit atrocities, if they think they can get away with it. Any that are Lawful, are probably going to obey the Commander, at least to the letter if not the spirit. This is assuming you kept that element when you ported FR over to GURPS.
There are alignments, in that Gods can be classified into them and grant spells related to them. On the other hand, most people cannot be meaningfully described using alignments and would count as Neutral.

Everything I've read about modern atrocities in war*, as well as my experience as a defence attorney, leads me to believe that atrocities and 'evil' acts are predominately committed by normal people with grave psychological issues or trapped in situations beyond their control. Soldiers who shoot prisoners after the battle because many of their friends died, who massacre civilians while fighting partisans or who loot, rape and murder in a conquered city are rarely uniquely monstrous. Many of them may never commit a crime in civilian life.

Most people are not moral because of abstract ethical convictions, they are moral because their social environment taught and constantly reinforced a certain set of norms for accepted behaviour and conformance to social norms is one of the strongest motivations for humans. Remove that social structure and throw people into a situation where they are expected to follow radically different rules and many will have difficulty adjusting.

Expose these men to a whole host of negative experiences and emotions, which their officers would rather they blamed on the enemy than their own side, and it shouldn't surprise anyone if otherwise perfectly sane and rational men behave in a savage manner toward the nominal 'enemy' and perhaps even everyone not part of their unit.

*Which is a surprising number, as my MA dissertation was on the Law of War and Crimes Against Humanity.

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Your world has magic, and presumably a Detect Truth spell, so certainly proving the guilt or innocence of a suspected rapist or murderer is easier than in our modern age.
Theoretically. In practice, military justice needs to be swift and a trial using magical means would mean depriving the army of several useful spells that day. For the same effort from a priest or wizard capable of ascertaining whether someone is telling the truth, the army could rather have a wall of wind protecting a unit from arrows, a fireball that breaks a squad of enemy at a crucial time or enough healing to keep 5-10 seriously wounded soldiers from bleeding out after a battle.

Even discounting using that magic on the battlefield, where it might save even more lives, it's hard to justify denying healing to and thereby sacrificing 5-10 wounded soldiers to give a better trial to one accused criminal. What makes the life of the accused more important than the lives of soldiers wounded in battle? If a mistake is made and the wrong person executed, that still means 4-9 people on your side who live but would otherwise have died.

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An army marches on its stomach, but I suspect magic probably helps clear that particular logistical hurdle. Did you follow General Hooker's example? That may have helped a tad, too.
The logistical organisation of the army is superb. Set up with Administration skill 27, for a CiC with Administration ca 22, and managed day-to-day by several officers with Administration around 20. As the PC with Administration -27 has TL5 for his financial skills and they are using ships that are fully as advanced as anything of the 18th century*, I guess that the logistics count as being TL4+1.

*Not to mention that magic mimics higher navigation and each transport technology fairly well. Tell Position spells are better than TL5 chronometers and sextants for navigation out of sight of land (though the ships also carry all TL4 navigation gear as backup). And each ship belonging directly to the PCs' organisation has weathermages onboard, who use a Ring of Wind to ensure that there is always a favourable wind, no matter in what direction they sail.
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Old 11-16-2015, 02:56 AM   #48
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Discipline, Law, Order and Preventing Atrocities

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I don't remember the number, or the source, for our world, but I remember reading that the same, small, percentage of people will avoid committing a crime even at need as will commit a crime even if there is no practical reward. The larger percentage was malleable based on the circumstances.
The PCs accept that there will be looting of small, valuable items. That doesn't concern them all that much, as most of the valuable loot belongs to the enemy anyway and is thus legitimate booty. Looting just means that the soldier doesn't report the capture and tries to sell it himself, keeping the full price for himself (and maybe his cronies), instead of reporting it to his superior and having the accountants of the mercenary organisation tally it, issuing the soldier who captured it a small part of the total value, as well as dividing another part of it among his regiment.*

The atrocities they want to discourage will mostly be the sort that aren't committed for gain or out of rational motives, but happen because confused, tired, angry and scared men react badly when under the stress of war. Risking death in order to rape terrified slave girls as soon as the army takes the city, instead of waiting a day or two for the siege to be over and the quartermasters to establish brothels in the city, is hardly rational. Neither is massacring a family of peasants in order to loot their hovel of stuff you couldn't give away. But there will be those who do both, if not restrained by peer pressure, prevented by officers or blocked by provosts.

*Most of the total value, or half, goes to the government for whom they are fighting. Another large part goes to the owners of the mercenary group, i.e. PCs and their closet allies. About a quarter is divided between the soldiers, with ca 1/24th of the value of the captured booty going to the soldier who captured it. Ransom goes by the same rules, but even in cases where prisoners are not ransomed, a bonus is paid out to a soldier who takes living prisoners and does not mistreat them. Having the Mulhorandi accept Purple Reign, the mercenary group led by the PCs, as honourable foes with whom bargains may be struck, is extremely valuable. Ransoming noble prisoners back to the Pharoah has so far yielded millions of gold pieces.

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How strongly do your troops follow Oaths? Would a required Oath of "I will refrain from rape and pillage upon those we conquer on pain of being found False before my gods" have any effect on these people? Becoming just another brick in the wall, to quote a certain British band, might be a strong motivator to stay on the straight and narrow. Assuming, that is, someone thought to require such an oath.
Many soldiers might take such an oath seriously. Others would not. On the other hand, being able to administer an oath requires a position of nearly unlimited formal authority over someone. Kings and nobles accept oaths from their knights and men-at-arms, but just volunteering to fight for someone doesn't give him any authority to impose oaths on you.

The Purple Reign mercenaries are long-serving professionals* who pride themselves on being not just fierce warriors, which is an epitath almost of derison among them, but on being skilled soldiers. They swear an oath to their employer, by any god they choose**, to follow the laws of the company, to obey their superiors, to keep faith and to observe discipline. But those men are mostly members of a hereditary class of professional military men, tend to be combat veterans even before joining and their training in military skills*** is about as intensive as that for modern soldiers.

But it's not so much the highly trained and loyal mercenaries that the PCs are worried about. If nothing else, the mercenaries have been with them long enough for the very high Reaction bonuses that most of the PCs have to work on them, predisposing even the most cynical of them to view their leaders with awe and admiration. It's the local allies and the pirates that are going to be the problem. They will have cultural expectations of warfare that doesn't feature any mercy for the conquered and they have not spent much time with the PCs before this.

But the PCs have no authority to demand oaths from these men. Well, from a part of the pirates, possibly, though it would be resented by many of them. But none at all from the rest of the pirates, not the gansters and rebel slaves from Messemprar, and certainly not from soldiers of Untheri nobles and military commanders who are lent to this operation. In fact, the PCs have no formal authority to subject such troops to any disciplinary proceedings at all, being probably required by the strict letter of the law to report any alleged crimes to their formal superiors and asking them to try the accused under Untheri military law.

But since Untheri law was ossified and exception-riddled to the point of unusable complexity and arbitrary unfairness centuries ago, not to mention that large factions within the country have declared it invalid with the fall of Gilgeam fifteen years ago, the PCs have no intention of doing that. They'll try any accused men, no matter what their faction, under simple and sensible Purple Reign law, and punish in the field. Hopefully, success will excuse everything.

This is one reason I need to estimate this carefully and not just have it be unimportant background information. Executions among certain units that belong to other factions in Unther are going to have repercussions for all future plans in the region.

*There is a variable signing bonus tied to the length of enlistment. Most sign on for a full 25 years, with the minimum length of service being four years.
**As long as one of the chaplains confirms the existence of such a god and that an oath sworn in its name would be binding.
***While there is some weapons training, in general, recruits are expected to be capable with sword, buckler, spear and several other basic military weapons before joining. They train in formation fighting, unit tactics and a variety of speciality skills for their branch of service. Crossbowmen learn the most of camouflage, orienteering and small unit tactics; caliver men learn new formations, as well as how to operate a new weapon, how to load, fire and fix bayonets; pikemen focus heavily on formations and disciplined ranks and marines learn to use a magelock caliver, as well as training in amphibious operations.


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P.S. How did I go so long without finding out there was actually a RP system that took "solitaire" play into account?
I think it's more a matter of play style than RPG system.
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Old 11-16-2015, 10:51 AM   #49
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Discipline, Law, Order and Preventing Atrocities

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But the PCs have no authority to demand oaths from these men. Well, from a part of the pirates, possibly, though it would be resented by many of them. But none at all from the rest of the pirates, not the gansters and rebel slaves from Messemprar, and certainly not from soldiers of Untheri nobles and military commanders who are lent to this operation. In fact, the PCs have no formal authority to subject such troops to any disciplinary proceedings at all, being probably required by the strict letter of the law to report any alleged crimes to their formal superiors and asking them to try the accused under Untheri military law.

But since Untheri law was ossified and exception-riddled to the point of unusable complexity and arbitrary unfairness centuries ago, not to mention that large factions within the country have declared it invalid with the fall of Gilgeam fifteen years ago, the PCs have no intention of doing that. They'll try any accused men, no matter what their faction, under simple and sensible Purple Reign law, and punish in the field. Hopefully, success will excuse everything.

This is one reason I need to estimate this carefully and not just have it be unimportant background information. Executions among certain units that belong to other factions in Unther are going to have repercussions for all future plans in the region.
I have to be honest, I do not think you will be able to find a way to make a careful estimate, at least if by careful you mean an estimate that is based off of historical, quantitative data for wartime atrocities committed by TL2-4 societies when a city was captured after a surrender. It is hard enough to get good estimates on army sizes in a given battle for this time, and casualty figures are even worse--and army size and casualty figures were figures that period chroniclers were interested in writing down (though often exagerated or based off of unscientific estimates)! As for the results of a seige for the local population, almost all of the sources we have that give any description at all of the actions of the common soldier are purely qualitative and mostly unhelpful in deriving the percision that you want.

I think you are going to have to settle for coming up with something that seems reasonable based off of the qualitative historical descriptions we have, though you may alternatively deside to import your own research on modern wartime atrocities--it will be anachronistic, but it may not be too far wrong.

Just bear in mind when you do this that everyone in a conquering army during this time had a vestige interest in not treating surrendering cities with brutality in order to encourage future cities to surrender as well. It also seems that even the common soldiers understood this (or were made to understand it by their commanders). It would be inappropriate to use atrocity figures in your PCs situation for seiges which ended with a city stormed by troops in battle (whether modern or ancient). Armies that took a city or fortification through forcing it to surrender (even after some fighting) were almost always careful to treat its citizens and soldiers with mercy. Saladin's capture of Jerusalem is a good example of this: after some hard fighting, Jerusalem surrendered to Saladin on terms that, for the most part, the population would not be harmed or enslaved and given protected passage to the remaining Crusader territories. Those that were enslaved were given a chamce to ransom themselves (or be ransomed), and many of even the common people were ransomed. By all accounts it seems that Saladin was able to uphold his part of the bargin and the people of Jerusalem were not badly treated. This is particularly surprising given that Saladin and his army had stated beforehand that they wanted to avenge the massacre that happened in the conquest of Jerusalem during the First Crusade by giving Jerusalem the same treatment when he captured it. So, the conquest of Jerusalem is one example where a TL3 army was able to take a city with basically no record of committing atrocities because the city surrendered under terms before it was successfully stormed, and it has the advantage of being an extreme case where the conquering army WANTED to massacre most of the populace but held back because of the surrender terms.

The above is why I suggested in my previous post using normal crime rates for the different people groups that make up your army, modified by influence rolls. Those that would break the rules to kill or rape anyway still will, but the city was not taken by storm, so there is not the same violent and disorganized initial contact between the citizens of the city and the PC army that would lend itself to wide-spread atrocities being committed in the heat of the moment. Even the common soldiers have a self-interest in treating the city's inhabitants with mercy so as to possibly avoid the danger of future seiges by encouraging cities to surrender without a fight.

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Old 11-16-2015, 03:43 PM   #50
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Discipline, Law, Order and Preventing Atrocities

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. . . and shells that didn't give you a chance to hit back. Patton and Junger seem to have enjoyed that but they were-eccentric. I haven't read Junger myself . . .
Check out Storm of Steel.

IIRC:

Junger was on the Western Front for four years as a junior officer (i.e., cannon fodder Number 1.) He loved it.

His brother was killed in the war. He loved it.

Junger was wounded seventeen times. [Might include exit wounds.] He still loved it.

Short version -- the guy was a nut. Wrote about "the ecstasy of battle." Lived to be 102 -- last surviving holder of the Ordre Pour le Merite, i.e., Blue Max.
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