Re: Vlad the Impaler does Prax

From: Frank Rafaelsen (rafael@nvg.ntnu.no)
Date: Sun 25 May 1997 - 03:44:49 EEST


>From: David Weihe <weihe@danet.com>

>Several of the smaller nations were once "Great" nations, but have
>lost out over time (frex, Rhinos), and several have died out entirely
>(frex, long-nose). The "balance" is just a lack of payoff for actually
>finishing off the smaller nation.

I don't agree. There is a very immediate and material gain from raiding
lesser tribes: You get their animals and therefor don't have to eat your
own. This increases you wealth and status in a very real way. Another
thing is the in grazing area. This too brings wealth

From: James Frusetta <gerakkag@wam.umd.edu>

>>The fact that there are several large competing nations and a lot of
>>smalle nations suggest to me that there is a very well established
>>balance of power system in the region. ... I frankly don't see how the
>>smaller nations could have survived this long without a system like
>
>Hmm. Maybe I've had _too_ much Balkan history (none of this Western
>European BoP stuff there, darn it), but I'm assuming the way
>the smaller nations survived (and not all of them did -- seen any
>long-noses lately?) is by running off into Wastes. Awfully hard to wipe
>out what you can't find/catch, and nomads pushing smaller nomads around
>seems to be the RW standard ("You are a small and puny tribe! Go sack the
>Romans, weaklings!"). Is that what you're referring to? Seems different
>from the kind of classical BoP you were referring to -- I don't see
>Praxians actively cooperating to take down a local hedgemon. Maybe I'm
>taking it too literally.

I have to admit I don't know much about RW nomad inter tribal relations,
but it seems to me that the reason the smaller tribes were forced to fight
the Romans was that they were forced to compete with the romans for land.
Now a displaced Praxian tribe is not going to migrate to a place where
they have to compete with the lunars for space.

>>This all depends on how invaded the nomads really feel by the lunars.
Are
>>the lunars even able to enforce anything on the nomads. Not a lot I
think
>I've never really pondered the subject and it's probably obvious and
>long-debated before, but how much metal are the Lunars handing over to
the
>Sables? Not a lot, necessarily, but is it potentially enough to
>overthrough the "balance of tribes," as it were?

I don't think the lunars give the sables very much, but the fact that
regional
trade is centered around the permanent settlements do give the Sables a
major
advantage.

>From: David Weihe <weihe@danet.com>
>Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 14:58:42 -0400
>Subject: Re: Vlad the Impaler meets Prax

>> What is really their problem? Well they are prevented from grazing
>> their animals in the relativly fertile Prax. Who is preventing them?

>Worse than that. The Lunars are forcing the tribes to pay a big tax, then
>letting them go on! The nomads can deal with outright blocking -- the top
>tribe always tries that -- but this bizarre new tactic drives them crazy.
>
>And the grazing is easily controlled by controlling the oases. In the
>desert or chaparral country, who controls the watering rights controls
>the land. Unwatered land is nearly worthless, no matter how much there
is.
        (snip)
>Catch them at the river crossing and they are dead meat. Catch them as
>they climb up the cuts, and a fairly small force will block them. In
>either place, the nomads cannot charge, nor stampede their herds, and
>they cannot easily retreat due to disorganization.

I don't know anything about survival in dry areas, but is Prax really that
dry?
There are a lot of nomads in Prax and the Wastes. If each and every clan
depend on an oasis for survival there would have to a lot of oases. And
this becomes even more difficult when one put the inter tribal hostility
into
the picture. Migration would be a very hazardious prospect if this was the
case. Since you never could know who controlled the next oasis.

As to question of lunar controll there is the problem of manpower. I
imagine
the nomads migrate the most during the dry fire season. Now the River of
Cradles states that in the fire season there are a lot of places where one
can
ford the river. The question is then; do the lunars have the manpower to
control these fords? I don't think so. A more workable plan would be to
control Weis Cut and Bilos Gap. But by looking at the map I don't see any
evidence of that happening. I know this is not a stronge case on my side,
but I feel the political situation would look different with strong lunar
garrisons placed at the gaps. Would Duke Raus be the "frontier lord" he
is portraid as if there was a big lunar garrison camping nearby? He
certainly would not need the help of wandering adventurers (a common
adventure seed, I belive)

>From: "Carlson, Pam" <carlsonp@wdni.com>
>Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 16:10:00 -0700
>Subject: grammar & other
>
>There may be those who don't think it's important to use good grammar,
>but such lapses make my skin crawl and cause me to lament the
>deteriorating state of the universe. Please humor me, and amaze your
>friends with proper grammar while you're at it.

I plead guilty on all accounts your Honor. But as you consider the
punishment do take it into account that I am not a native speaker.
I'll try to improve but I fear that the only way I'm going to help improve
the
grammar on this digest is to post less (old habits die hard and all that
stuff)

*Standing in the corner* :-)

- --
Frank Rafaelsen

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