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[LP CYOA] Epic

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by treave, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. oscar Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    oscar
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    AAB1

    Rescuing our friend/pawn Ban and the encircled troops is our priority. If the Odessa threat turns out to be serious we can smash them with our combined force that will be bolstered by the 30,000 soldiers tied down at Tigrien.
     
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  2. oscar Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    I also get the feeling that the 'Russians' of this time are pretty much Cossacks. Their mobility means that we should force them to react to us rather than play catch up with every detachment they send off to rape and pillage. I can't really see these guys committing to a direct head-on battle, but rather raiding and attacking our supply lines and generally being major pains in the backside (as Cossacks historically were to fight against).

    This probably isn't going to be some glorious campaign and has a lot of hallmarks for being a resource and manpower sink for bugger all gain to the Empire.
     
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  3. treave Arcane Patron

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    The infantry fare poorly, the chariots better provided there's enough open ground and flat terrain to roll around in. They are still unable to outmaneuver the enemy horsemen then, but at least they wouldn't be sitting ducks like infantry are, and the bowmen outrange the horse archers and have better accuracy. The tribes have the distinct advantage in mobility but because of the disparity in armour and weapons quality their bows often do nothing more than score wounding hits. Of course, given the era, this could actually be a downside for the injured army, with increasing amounts of wounded to take care of.

    Deaths in battle thus far have been low, but the organization of the army and the way orders are given out and received necessitates that the commanding officers of the squad or the regiment are bearing brightly coloured flags with brightly painted armour (by regulation, though certain smarter officers try to ignore it as best as they can without affecting the coordination of the whole army), and this tends to attract the attention of the nomads...

    I wouldn't say that the Empire is way behind the Rus in innovation, it's just that culturally the horse tribes are more suited to fighting this way. They wouldn't be able to launch a war of conquest and occupation against a significant power, which is what the Empire's troops train for.

    Regarding where they found Ean, no, none of the people designated in the choice knows about it. :troll:

    Yes, this is basically what they have been doing thus far ever since the Imperial army stepped in.
     
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  4. oscar Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    The best way to 'solve' this situation is pretty much do what OTL Russians did. Bribe them into raiding pretty much everyone but us and slowly incorporate them into our military (they give us military service as excellent light cavalry/scouts in return for autonomy).
     
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  5. Baltika9 Arcane

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    I think there's more merit to the idea than you think: we could send half the troops to garrison and defend Odessa just to buy us some time, while the other half bails out Ban's Band of Brothers under our command. This will work well with 1A.
    But, more to the point, I'd rather we get to talk to the Madman and, if he cooperates, find out why he didn't go to Iceland yet(something's holding him back. Maybe he's raiding Odessa for a ship?) and bring him with us up there, since he's the most knowledgeable and wants to sacrifice his body to bring back the Emperor. Ean is the ultimate goal, though.

    Actually, as I'm typing this, I'm leaning more towards ABA1: Send our most elite and hard-ass troops to bail Ban(this is not a siege or epic battle, just hit hard, get the boys outta there and bring them back to us) and take the rest with us to fight the Rus' tribes: whatever it is they want from there, I'm not sure I'm too keen on giving it to them just like that; and besides which, letting Odessa be raided unpunished will not stabilize the situation back home.

    No one knows how many are left.
     
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  6. TOME Cuckmaster General

    TOME
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    ABB2

    There should be at least 20000 men in Fort Tigrien and if they see our 1000 troops getting through to them, they'll know they can break through on their own. Letting Odessa burn is not an option. It will create panic everywhere and people will lose faith in the Emperor, thus giving cults more power.

    If we send Garsu to Odessa only with 1000 men, his pride is not going to stop him and he'll probably desert and the men along him. But if we send more troops with him, he should be able to protect Odessa. The question is, will he return after the threat is over or stay comfortable inside Odessa? And if we send him to Fort Tigrien, he is going to have even more negative effect on morale. But still, he is our best officer and he should lead the other group.

    Now that I think about it more, I might flop to ABA1. Taking Garsu to organize 13000 men might be smart move and it would give a morale boost to the other group heading to Fort Tigrien. But who would lead the other group?
     
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  7. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    I don't think it's a lost cause, militarily. It seems clear that in any close combat we would win hands-down, and we just need to make sure we're never chasing the horse archers and breaking formation. The fact that our bowmen are actually superior in accuracy and range is crucial. We might be helpless against their hit and run tactics, but that really is all they can do, as well, which means, for example, they can't in the last instance stop us reaching Tigrien, or overwhelm Odessa (as long as it's not a 10:1 numbers or something).

    I would point you all to the Battle of Arsuf in the Third Crusade; outnumbered and having to march down the desert coast, they knew what was critical was to always keep formation, never go running after the enemy, shoot them down with our own bowmen if they come close, protect the rear and the horses with infantry. In the end Saladin is forced to a pitched battle which predictably does not go well.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Arsuf

    Now, I think our goal should be get Ban, do some heroics, move on. Recovering the dead and alive at Tigrien, and Ban the war hero, in itself would net us enough military street cred to last a decade, or at least another war post. Trying to actually defeat the tribes is foolish. What this means is that we need to focus on Tigrien and we need to go there ourselves. So either AAA2 or AAB1. We go to Tigrien, Garsu can come or not, and we recruit the best men possible for the job.

    Whatever we do though, I think 1A is absolutely critical. We need good men to win. The way the army works, if you win battles, then you're immune to everything; if you don't win, you're vulnerable to everything. What we need to do is get any kind of encouraging result under our belt to win the men's confidence, and that makes any kind of mutiny or assassination a lot harder. We have to show we can lead them to victory and that makes all the difference - and to do that we need the best men. There's no other choice here.
     
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  8. Baltika9 Arcane

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    I agree. Couple it with the fact that the troops already respect Dio
    making meritorious promotions and getting involved on the battlefield with them will raise us to Big Papa General with them and the old command won't be able to do much to us. And if we bring back Ban to them, well, we will be in good.

    You know, maybe taking a small strike force with us to get Ban out and leave Odessa's defense in the hands of the newly promoted is the way to go here? Get rid of the old commanders too, on the way(in war, sacrifices have to be made, these brave men just decided to do it now, rather than later). OR maybe we should split our forces? Odessa's walls will allow half our men to defend the city, while the 13k that go with us will give us a critical operational success?

    Edit: on a side note, I think the Madman is raiding Odessa to steal a ship, and the tribes are simply his mercs that work for plunder and booty(ies). Iceland is way over there, across the sea. Why not steal it on the Baltic coast, then, though?
     
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  9. GreyViper Erudite

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    AAA2 Sounds good.
     
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  10. Baltika9 Arcane

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    treave: Just so I'm clear, the troops we send to Odessa will be garrisoning and defending the city, or directly engaging the tribesmen as soon as they see 'em?
    What's the general morale of our men?
     
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  11. TOME Cuckmaster General

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    Nobody is going to remember saving Ban if we let an imperial city burn under our watch. And it would make all future political advances very hard. So 2A and 2D are out. 13k imperial soldier vs 40k tribesmen could work but the odds don't look that good without good commanders.
     
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  12. Baltika9 Arcane

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    I was thinking more along the lines of "garrison Odessa->save Ban and his men->go to Odessa with Ban." And as for the commanders, that's what 1A is there for.
     
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  13. TOME Cuckmaster General

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    That's what I'm thinking too. Unfortunately all the others are voting 2A.
     
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  14. BAB1 - No distractions. Garsu and the 1000 men at Odessa will die by the hand of the madman's tribes and we'll be free to take Ban (plus a few soldiers from our current force who are loyal to us) to Ean's burial site.
     
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  15. Stinkanator Novice

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    the only thing i'm iffy on is how many troops to send to Odessa. what is the garrison there? and of course would Garsu arrive before or after the tribes?
     
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  16. treave Arcane Patron

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    Odessa is a thriving, relatively large town with a population of about 65,000. It is not walled because it is deep enough in Imperial territory that it has never been raided by the tribes, nor did its founders feel any need to do so. There are actually other towns closer to the border that would be easier pickings. Garrison consists of about a thousand men, and if you knew when exactly your troops would arrive and if they would do so before or after the enemy, you would be a very prescient strategist. Which you are not. None of the men in the fort are.

    The aim of sending the men to Odessa would be to try and distract or intercept the tribesmen before they reach the town, but whether that is successful is something you won't know until you try it.
     
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  17. Baltika9 Arcane

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    treave, more questions: how's morale, what's the general opinion on Gursu by grunts, NCO's and officers?
    What about Dio(more specifics)
    Is Odessa a large port city, do we have any info on the ships in harbor?
     
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  18. TOME Cuckmaster General

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    So either the info is incorrect or there is something in Odessa that the madman is after.
     
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  19. treave Arcane Patron

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    Nothing notable.

    It's not a city, just a town. The boats there are made to travel within the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.
     
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  20. Esquilax Arcane

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    Baltika9, the madman isn't stealing a ship. It's as you said: why bother stealing ships from Odessa, of all places? That's why I think he's trying to draw us out - Odessa is a town that isn't particularly important to the Empire strategically, nor does it seem related to Ean at all, really.

    Not sure if it's that simple. It's been weeks since we've heard from the Fort, holding off on the rescue might mean the end of our buddy Ban if the place is starved out or overrun.

    It's a question of what you value more: the city and the Empire's stability, or Ban and his usefulness to Dio. If it's one or the other, I'm going with Ban. Yeah, if Odessa gets burnt down by tribal savages, it's not good for the stability of the Empire, but remember that we came to Rus so that we could recruit Ban as muscle for whatever lies in New Athens. Admittedly, we also came to find out what was stopping the madman from going to there directly after finding out where Ean's body was located, but that's simply a bonus.

    treave, were there roughly 30,000 men at Fort Tigrien before it got isolated (since the update mentioned that we came with a force of 60,000 originally)? I'm curious as to whether we could have part of our forces hold the town while the other half breaks the blockade and frees the remaining forces held down in the Fort. As long as the force of 13,000 at Odessa manages to survive until reinforcements arrive, it might be able to work. I still am not sure I like it because Odessa doesn't have walls, however.

    One thing though, I actually believe that the Rus likely outnumber us significantly more than is believed:

    The madman has a few tricks up his sleeve, I'm sure of it. Something about all of this just seems off: the madman's hit-and-run strategy had clearly been working and he was knocking off Imperial strongholds one by one, so it doesn't make much sense to me why his forces would bail to take a city when he's already got the Shinari forces isolated. I think he definitely has reserves: this is a man who was able to establish a large and very aggressive cult in the heart of the Empire itself, and I think he's done the same here. So I believe that we'll encounter a ton of resistance no matter where we go.

    Anyways, it's also clear to me that if you want to even attempt to save both Odessa and rescue Ban at the Fort, you shouldn't try to take Garsu out. He's the closest thing we have to a competent field commander here, so if we want to do everything at once, we can't worry about trying to take him out. To minimize conflict, the soldiers loyal to him should be segregated from our own. So, I would imagine something like this:

    A) Competency is crucial.

    C) Splitting our forces will probably result in spreading ourselves too thin, but that's what you have to do if you want to do everything at once.

    B1) Garsu holds Odessa while Diogenes breaks the blockade, links up with the Fort's survivors, then makes his way towards Odessa. Giving Garsu only 1,000 men is a clear signal to him that we want him dead, but if we give him an actually substantial force, he won't really be up in arms about it. The downside is that we probably will lose some prestige by not defending the city ourselves, but I believe that the respect we'll gain from our men will offset that. Furthermore, perhaps if we're smart, we can come in and save the day and take all the credit a la Tywin Lannister at the Battle of Blackwater.

    The reason I don't want Diogenes holding Odessa is because I don't trust Garsu to not throw us under the bus and allow us to die so that he can go back home. This guy clearly thinks this is all a waste of time, and if we're holding Odessa with a meager force, I don't want to be at his mercy.

    Also, unrelated question, treave: does the religion of Ean have any holy books or holy sites a la Jerusalem or Mecca? Considering the investment Ean put into education at the start of the Empire, it would make sense that someone would have wrote some sort of mythical holy book related to the life of Ean. And I could totally see places like Heliopolis, Tjaru, Babylon, and the Great Wall at Korinthos holding some sort of religious significance.

    Voting ACB1 ADA1 for now.
     
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  21. Baltika9 Arcane

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    @Esqquilax, I would support your plan. There's just one big "however" here:
    VS
    From what I understand, these guys are already marching there. In effect, garrisoning the city means trying to outpace born horsemen with infantry and chariot-tanks. That doesn't really inspire optimism.

    In fact, the tribes besieging Tigris are on the move to Odessa
    All intel suggests that Tigris will be lightly guarded, if you don't count the Madman's tricks, which could really be anything.

    I'm thinking that sending 25k troops to Odessa and taking an elite squad of hard-assed veterans is our best choice here. Sending a thousand men to fight forty? Don't make me laugh. Thirteen? Still too little, especially considering that we haven't been doing too well against them.

    You know, even if the Madman is drawing us out, it may be to our advantage: I don't give two shits about Dio's political career, he may just be trying to capture us for whatever uses he may have for us.

    As for why he didn't go to Iceland yet: I'm pretty sure it's because he couldn't find a ship that will take him there. I mean, seriously, he's in Russia and Iceland is way over there. I'm also sure the local tribes aren't that much into sailing, so he's SOL there.

    And if I may add to this question: is Tjaru actually worth a damn as a fort now?
     
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  22. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    I think if the madman makes a proper concerted attack on Odessa then it is screwed unless we take the entire army with us; purely because of the numbers, and as Esquilax says, why would the Madman bet on attacking Odessa if he needs us NOT to send any sizable force back, when the current strategy has been working so well? The calculation only makes sense if he thinks he can win even if we split our army. In fact, he's probably counting on us splitting our army; it is the primary benefit because right now we're all holed up together. I think he wants us to split our forces and we should not do it.

    I think we should just say screw it and go AAA2. Take Garsu and go to Tigrien and give ourselves the strongest force possible for our primary objective. If it was a bluff, we win; if it wasn't, then we lose Odessa, but we will probably be able to succeed in Tigrien. The Empire can take it, it's not like we're out here with the empire's entire army, and the value of saving Ban and the survivors at Tigrien should offset others' evaluation of our performance. If we split up then I strongly doubt we'd be able to save Ban and Odessa. Just seems too easy. More likely that our splitting up will be exploited; and more likely that when push comes to shove, we will be required to make a personal sacrifice to make ends meet... we've already lost an eye.
     
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  23. treave Arcane Patron

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    Not accounting for the dead, the army had split up into thusly: Euphraxes 30,000, Nileia 20,000, Tigrien 10,000. Each are about three day's march from the other, with Tigrien being the deepest in Rus territory and where all the more hardcore officers and soldiers are. Most of the commanding staff were at Nileia and were probably wiped out. When Nileia fell Ban led an unknown amount of soldiers to Tigrien. Actual casualties are unknown as no one has went out to Nileia to count the bodies. It will take you about half a day's march to reach Imperial territory from Euphraxes, and from there you have roads which will speed up your travelling time to Odessa.


    There's no single holy book related to his life, but plenty of stories and myths passed down through the ages. Of course from time to time scholars do make compilations of all these myths, but there's no Bible or Quran equivalent to the Shinar religion. You can think of the Emperor worship as something more akin to the Chinese Yellow Emperor - a blend of history and legend, except that Ean is worshipped as the divine progenitor of the Empire and its principles. He just is, there is no denying his existence and deeds, and you do not need his intercession to save you from some sort of damnation in this life or the next. Of course, that has been changing nowadays with the advent of the new cults that bear a more messianic flavour. The Great Wall, Crete, Olympus, Babylon, Heliopolis and Tjaru are all recorded as sites where Ean has performed his mythical deeds, but they tend to be more of pseudo-historical significance - again, mixing history with legend. There are some religious pilgrimages to the sites, but they have never been common practice even for the more devout.

    And no, Tjaru has not been an important fort for thousands of years. It would've been an abandoned derelict by now if not for a few Imperial priests maintaining a shrine there.
     
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  24. Baltika9 Arcane

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    You know, something about this whole situation smells, badly. Why isn't Tigrien's garrison contacting us, even though it's besiegers have apparently moved on? Are they all dead, did they perhaps move out of there? Why are the tribes raiding Odessa? Where is the Madman?
    Too many unknowns, bros. Just this once, I advocate the "wait-and-see" approach: flopping to ADA1.
    This conserves our strength for crisis management and gives us some situational awareness and promoting the competent underdogs, coupled with Dio's already endearing looks, will give us enough popularity, for now, to avoid a mutiny.
    However, we shouldn't sit on our assess: the prime goal is Tigrien and, as mentioned above, some suspicious shit is happening over there. I think we ought to investigate while we can and off Gursu in the meanwhile.

    Odessa will probably be a lost cause, but it never hurts to check it out. Maybe 'ol squidfucker is just baiting us into the open.
     
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  25. Esquilax Arcane

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    A few things have occurred to me. If we try to off Garsu by sending him into danger with only 1,000 men, the 19 other officers who want to go home and are loyal to him will definitely know that we weren't too sad to see him gone and probably sent him off to Odessa in hopes that he wouldn't come back. It'll turn a lot of the other officers against us, so we have to be extremely careful with that, especially in conjunction with a choice like 1A.

    It's important to remember that Dio has telekinesis, so I think that our guy is more than capable of killing someone without anybody else tracing it back to us, especially in the heat of battle. If Garsu dies by our side in battle with a force of 24,000 men, people aren't going to suspect any foul play. If Garsu is sent on what's obviously a suicide mission and he doesn't return, the other officers will suspect foul play. If he dies fighting in battle with a force of 24,000 then it doesn't reflect so badly on us.

    I also feel like maybe you bros aren't giving 1B a fair shake. Unless you're here to crush the Rus tribes and capture the madman (and I don't really see the benefit to doing that), I don't see why you'd need to rock the boat to this extent. Once we manage to free the forces at Tigrien, we'll have a force of competent officers anyways.

    Anyways, I agree with Baltika9, and given the Madman's flair for unpredictable tactics, we ought to be cautious. There are a ton of unknowns out there and I'd rather avoid doing anything too rash. I'm in favour of going towards Tigrien ourselves because Dio's telepathy makes him perfect for sniffing out ambushes. Garsu is competent enough to scout out Odessa himself, I believe.

    Flopping my original vote to BDB1
     
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