Re: Horali, Armies, and Adamant

From: Sandy Petersen (sandyp@idgecko.idsoftware.com)
Date: Wed 15 May 1996 - 22:15:53 EEST


William
>All of this knocking the innovation of iron dwarves and horali is
making me
>wonder if they deserve a 5.
        Sure. They suck at ability to react to new ideas, and
respond ineffectively to a good battle plan. But when's all said and
done, you have to go in and _kill_ them, after all (since neither
surrender, except to others of their own kind). And killing them is
kind of like stepping into a threshing machine. A human army may be
able to trap them in a blind canyon with no escape route, but then
no one wants to go in and winkle them out.

>I certainly disagree with KoW being a 6 because I regard excellent
officers and >NCOs as the difference between 3 "quite good" and 4
"top notch".
        Or from 2 to 3. Or 5 to 6.

>Thus in terms of equipment Kow is a 3, aand leadership kicks it up to 5.
        Their equipment is a 4 -- it's as good as the best any
large-scale army has, if not better. Think of Romans, Macedonian
Hypaspists, or Mongols. None of their soldier had amazingly superior
equipment. The KoW's is clearly as good as any's, and better than
most's.

>plethora of useful combat magics and fanaticism takes it to 4,
        Except that a combination of total fanaticism and a
top-grade army has only been encountered twice in the history of the
Earth -- at the time of the Moslem Conquests and Japan during WWII.
And even then you have to wonder about them being top-grade.
Nonetheless, the initial Moslem wars were so fast and so amazing
that military commentators ever since have remarked on their
inexplicable nature. Of course, soon enough the fanaticism ceased,
or at least subsided to a more normal level. The Japanese in WWII
were only beatable by starving them for months ahead of time, then
applying a colossal material advantage. No other army I know of has
been able to exact better than a 1:1 casualty ratio when totally
outnumbered, totally outgunned, unable to maneuver, and unable to
reinforce, as the Japanese were at Iwo Jima, for instance.

>Actually, you have to wonder a bit about the equipment level of a
nation that >Taps it's economic base

        To be clear. the KoW metabolizes its own economic base to
enable it to grow. The Tapping and vast destruction powers up the
fringe of expansion, so that it can keep on growing exponentially.
Every other nation in Glorantha at least believes that it wishes to
achieve a state of stability -- a final state in which it is no
longer expansionist. For the KoW, this is anathema. This is their
Death. If they can be held to their own little territory, they will
consume themselves. So long as they can keep growing, their flame
will continue to spread and blacken the world.

>and the notion that a kingdom packed with Urox and ZZ >berserks,
grim fearless >Humakti fanatics, and vengeful Babeester Gor devotees
>has the most subtle and >sophisticated leaders is amusing
        Be real, William. You ought to know perfectly well that
being grim, fearless, and fanatic doesn't mean your generals can't
be deadly. Subotai's Mongols were subtly led, as were Tamerlane's
men, Geronimo's band, the Norman knights bred for war, etc. etc.

Sandy P.

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