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Thread: Draconians, Insectoids, & Orcs: Any Last Thoughts?

  1. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Draxynnic View Post
    Hrrrmn. Valid point, although any weapon with a long haft used for slashing is going to have a similar problem. Thumping your haft into a wing isn't going to be as bad as a spearpoint, of course, but it's still not going to be conducive to steady flight. Meanwhile, the spear phalanx or pike block... just isn't going to work in the three-dimensional aerial battlefield as well as it does on the ground.

    What we might need to be looking at is using a relatively light armament for fighting air-to-air - sword and light shield, for instance. For attacking ground-infantry, a yo-yo type weapon could be employed.

    Alternatively, a light, relatively short polearm could work, probably with a light cutting blade (I'd be more inclined towards glaive-style than voulge-style - I know weapons are often lighter than most people expect them to be, but when attached to even a 6-foot pole, there's a lot of momentum - minimising that is probably going to be an advantage in flight), a spear point for stabbing down at a target below you, and a hook for the possibility of pulling your target off balance in flight.
    That's how I would envision it too. But also to say, a race that flies would adapt their fighting style to accomodate their wings, so slashing them with two weapons or with a polearm is not a real concern in my book.
    My RPG Design and Theory Blog: http://socratesrpg.blogspot.com/

  2. #42
    Archmage of the Outer Ring jamoecw's Avatar
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    i could totally see them using lances as well, swooping down to impale foes. even diving through enemy flyer formations like ww2 dogfights.

    as for using hooks, it would be risky, as they would are lighter than their opponents on the ground, and in flight off balance isn't simply changing the amount of force applied to a spot on the ground. though i could see weapon catches in order to disarm a foe, or to help defend, they can be used to hook people as well, though not nearly as easily or strongly (which is also an advantage).

    fencing with yaris would keep them away from their opponents and off the ground against grounded foes. the yoyo idea is kinda cool too, as it was originally a weapon. falxs and other scythe weapons might give some flavor as well, they are a cleaving weapon that is lighter than later cleaving weapons (more fragile and harder to use as well, but meh), they also hook in a weakish sort of way.

    as for slashing the wings, double weapons are hard to use without hurting yourself even when you don't have wings, adding wings seems to mean that it would be a higher tier thing, rather than lower.

  3. #43
    To be honest, as a 'double weapon', the style I was thinking of is more one of 'yeah, this weapon happens to have two heads and I can swing with either' rather than true two-weapon fighting, if you catch the distinction.

    The hook I was thinking of being used against other flyers, not against ground forces - use it to pull the enemy off balance in the air, while hopefully you're not pulled off balance as much because you were ready for it.

    Lances... I'm a bit ambivalent about, on the basis that a lance is liable to get stuck deep into an opponent and you're not going to be able to take the time to pull it out during aerial combat. I expect they would be used - the opportunity to perform a lance charge from a diving position would be just too good to pass up - but they'd probably also be viewed as expendable weapons. Once a lance gets stuck into an enemy, it's abandoned.

    Mind you, there's precedent for traditional knights treating lances in such fashion too, so that's probably not an unreasonable treatment.

  4. #44
    Lances... I'm a bit ambivalent about, on the basis that a lance is liable to get stuck deep into an opponent and you're not going to be able to take the time to pull it out during aerial combat.
    That's why I've felt that Draconians should used curbed blades like scimitars or katanas since they slice nicely but won't end up lodged inside an enemy.
    My RPG Design and Theory Blog: http://socratesrpg.blogspot.com/

  5. #45
    So, time to turn the maggot-frying glass on the Insectiods. Probably won't be as long as the draconians, but we'll see how things go:

    Big-Picture Conceptual Thoughts:

    The Klackons were essentially Simtex' "signature" race, being the one race (other than humans, of course) that's found in the Orion franchise as well as Master of Magic. With this being the case, it's interesting that the klackons play such an unassuming role in the game, with some players even openly espousing razing klackon cities on sight, on the basis that it's better to start a new city of another race from scratch than have a klackon city taking up space there.

    The reason for this hatred stems largely from klackons not playing well with other races. The 20% extra unrest klackons show when conquered by another race is actually, on paper, fairly small - every Myrran race has at least that with every other Myrran race, after all. However, this is exacerbated by the near total lack of buildings that reduce the number of rebels. This means that it's virtually impossible to prevent klackon cities from becoming hotbeds of unrest even with large garrisons, and unlike, say, Dark Elves, klackons don't really produce anything worth putting up with that unrest. Conversely, when your capital is a klackon city, unrest can be controlled - having a klackon capital gives you an inherent two-figure rebel control, while other races you conquer likely do have access to rebel suppression buildings.

    There were essentially two ways to play klackons in MoM. One was essentially as a standard 'rusher' race - use your inherent production bonus to get troops out quickly and conquer. The other is one I haven't really tried, and one that isn't really friendly to conquering other races. Basically, it involves mass-producing settlers using the production bonus and covering as much of the map as you can with your little nests of sapient ants, and only allowing a city to grow once it's too far away from empty land for building more settlers to be viable. The theory is that with all these little cities, you end up with a larger overall population than you would from a handful fo carefully chosen cities, and the fact that they're all in small nests, and you have the inherent two figures of riot control just from having a klackon capital, you can ramp up the tax rate to maximum and rake in the dough with little unrest from your klackon subjects.

    Not so much other races, particularly "builders", which is why this strategy is not particularly friendly to making use of conquered cities. Instead, the general theory is that you use this tax income to develop a handful of key cities... or convert it to mana and build up an army of summoned creatures.

    Now, we probably don't want to copy this mechanic exactly, but the general idea of the insectoids being a race that supports lots of little towns is one that's probably worth considering. One possibility could be to allow insectoid cities to thrive better in harsher terrain. The Master of Magic standard for rushing races in general is to give the race an economic advantage that is countered by not being able to construct buildings that allow builders to eventually attain and exceed that economic advantage (ex: Klackons getting a production boost, but can't build Mechanician's Guilds). Another possibility is to give the insectoids a "core" unit with relatively low infrastructure requirements that is expected to bear the brunt of the fighting for the insectoids - going up the tech tree provides specialist units that might serve as counters to other races' high-tier units, but aren't strictly better than the bread-and-butter unit that comes from the ordinary cities.

    One interesting possibility could be to have insectoid units having two sets of requirements. One set of requirements is the minimum a city needs to be able to build that unit, but in order to do so, another, harder set of requirements must be completed in an insectoid city somewhere in your empire. For instance, to use Master of Magic buildings and units for illustration purposes, under this system you might be able to build stag beetles at any insectoid city with a barracks and a stables, as long as at least one insectoid city under your control has an armorer's guild and a stables.

    One side effect is that this would provide a way of generating the 'hive mind' effect without rendering insectoids impractical to make effective use of as a conquered race as klackons are in MoM. Instead of uncontrollable rebellion, an insectoid city you capture just isn't as useful to you as it was to the former owner, unless you have a well-developed insectoid city of your own. Once you capture the central hive(s), though, the tide turns.

    Unit details, fluff, and other nitty gritty:

    While "hive" is a common term that's been applied to the insectoids, there's been some discussion about how much of a hive mind they should have. The general categories seem to be:

    Zerg-like: Individual drones do not have sapience, sapience instead being something distributed through a psychic hive mind or concentrated in a few individuals that control the rest.

    Individuals with queen: Each insectoid possesses its own sapience, but like ants, all of the insectoids in a colony are the children of the colony's queen or queens.

    Conventional: Like other races, each insectoid is capable of breeding.

    Personally, I'm inclined towards the second option. The first option is a sci-fi staple, but it makes it hard to give character to individuals that aren't queens or other focii of the hive mind, and also raises the question of how insectoids would be possible to assimilate into another race's empire at all. The second, however, allows individuals to have character, while keeping the insectoids social structure distinct - while they are individuals, insectoids of a colony are fiercely loyal to their queen as the queen is probably their mother, and new insect colonies have a high degree of loyalty to the colony they came from because the queen of that colony is the mother of their queen. However, it is still possible to assimilate a colony into another race's empire, as most queens still prefer to come to an accomodation with their conquerors so their colony can survive rather than continue defiance to the colony's destruction.

    In terms of units - being a hive allows for a caste system, similar to ants. At the very least, a distinction between workers and soldiers should be considered. Workers pressed into the army generally have one of two purposes - either they're the best a colony that doesn't have the ability to produce soldiers can get, in which case they're armed with simple weapons like spears or converted tools. Alternatively, they could take roles that the specialised soldiers cannot, such as engineers and (because the soldiers may not have the capability to use bows, see below) archers.

    Soldiers are where an opportunity comes to make things really distinct. In my mind, soldiers were bred for combat before the insectoids became tool-users, and thus their weapons are probably natural weapons - large mandibles, stingers, and mantis-like claws on their forearms (which would be why they might need workers to serve as archers). Since becoming tool-users, however, soldier-caste insectoids may be equipped with armour and metal weapons added to their natural weapons - an armoured soldier-caste warrior, for instance, may have scythe-like blades fitted over their claws and sharpened metal sheets mounted on their mandibles to augment their natural chitin.

    As something of a departure from ants, I'd also expect the insectoids to have a flying soldier caste, similar in appearance to wasps or dragonflies - however, these should probably be weaker, at least individually, than flyers of other races. Other castes could easily be imagined - mage and priest castes (which may also be winged) and specialised soldiers possessing special biologically-generated attacks (an acid spray might be one possibility). The insectoids may also have domesticated other giant insects for military or other purposes, adding to the possible range of military units.

    Settlers, I think, should be flying, representing a queen or queens before they shed their wings to found a colony. While this steps a little on draconian toes, I think it fits both the conceptual theme and the mechanical theme (flying settlers making it easier for the insectoids to spread their little colonies everywhere). The distinction, I think, is that while draconians perform amphibious assaults by dispatching their armies across an ocean to directly conquer neutral and enemy cities, an insectoid player would do so by dispatching a few settlers to found colonies near their target, which then proceed to build land-based units to swarm the objective.

    Name-wise, I'm partial to the term "myrmidon" - it's public domain and serves as a reference to ants without being blatant about it.

  6. #46
    well i think ants have two hive classes with wings. not sure for english name of male class and other is queen.

    here are some details from wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ant:

    Most ant species have a system in which only the queen and breeding females have the ability to mate. Contrary to popular belief, some ant nests have multiple queens while others may exist without queens.

    Most ants are univoltine, producing a new generation each year.[56] During the species-specific breeding period, new reproductives, females and winged males leave the colony in what is called a nuptial flight. Typically, the males take flight before the females. Males then use visual cues to find a common mating ground, for example, a landmark such as a pine tree to which other males in the area converge. Males secrete a mating pheromone that females follow. Females of some species mate with just one male, but in some others they may mate with as many as ten or more different males.
    Most queens and the small number of drones in a colony (the male ants), have wings; queens shed the wings after the nuptial flight, leaving visible stubs, a distinguishing feature of queens. Wingless queens (ergatoids) and males occur in a few species, however.[37]

    so here it could mechanicly be as all units walk but "settlers"/queen unit that start city is only flying one as example. need more work on that detail.

    well it depends on species i guess. some create underground city, other dont but are moving colony, other are full soldiers but capture other ant species as slaves and other and since its fantasy here can be other flying class except breeding classes.

    maybe take a look at insectoid units of shadow demons in age of wonders shadow magic on http://aow2.heavengames.com/aowsm/ga...owdemons.shtml

    ---------- Post added at 06:10 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:08 AM ----------

    sorry for repeating some points of you post havent read completely before posting.

  7. #47
    No, it's all good stuff. I'm just absorbing it, Spellcaster. You are mighty thurough in your posts!!!
    My RPG Design and Theory Blog: http://socratesrpg.blogspot.com/

  8. #48
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    For Insectoids, I was thinking that in terms of Squad dynamics that the team would defer to the will of the squad leader. If the Squad leader is killed, the unit with the next highest Will becomes leader. Whereby the Squad's will is always the same as the leader. This reflects the Hive mind. The leader with the highest Will may not even be the best combat unit, so do I target the enemy that's trying to tear off my head, or try to kill the enemy that could demoralize the entire squad?

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