Post by Hida Tetsuko on May 14, 2017 11:31:33 GMT 10
How would the Unicorn engage in siege warfare given they are primarily a cavalry force? How would the Unicorn take back their fortresses from the Onyx?
Coming up in Chasing the Winds is the taking back of Shiro Moto.
I've been reading a number of the books on war and tactics but I'm still at a blank on this so I have to throw it open to the community. How would this happen? And how would this happen especially given that this wouldn't be their first attempt at doing so? What would the conditions need to be in the surrounding area for it to be able to be taken?
There's also very few details about Shiro Moto itself. Which is good in a way, as we can make it what it needs to be.
To make it easier
I know Sean and bearon are long time ponies, so I'm relying on you for suggestions. Be as creative as you like with the conditions and tactics. And yes, Chinua is still in charge and probably considers taking it back his legacy.
Post by The Wake Angels on May 14, 2017 13:03:22 GMT 10
Righto. So, first off, history.
The one time Shiro Moto has been taken/burned in canon, it involved the entire Lion army marching against Chagatai as a matter of honor. The Lion army took heavy losses, and it was implied that the armies were evenly matched, but the Unicorn were winning.
Given that what artwork we have of Shiro Moto has it more of a palace than a castle, with open grounds overlooking the plains and nothing remotely like a siege-capable wall, we can presume that the causes of these losses we're not in the siege itself, but rather the surrounding terrain being ideally suited towards Unicorn cavalry tactics, both direct confrontation and harrassment. The Lion army would have paid in bodies for every step they took, and it was only by sheer numbers that they got to the castle with a fighting force at all.
During the fiction, the castle burns and Chags kills the latest Lion Champion, before deciding to stop fighting and let his wounds/the fire take him to spare his Clan further war. It was implied that he could have won the day if he had kept fighting, which considering the Lion's prowess, would mean that their numbers had been heavily reduced. City fighting is not ideal for the Unicorn.
So, what we draw from this is that the Lion took heavy casualties for every inch of Unicorn soil, but once in the Shiro were able to reach the heart of Shiro Moto during a pitched battle. Therefore, the Shiro itself is easy to take or destroy. The real threat is the km upon km of open ground surrounding the Shiro.
If the Unicorn were to take it back from the forces of the Shadowlands, their main threat would be the Dark Moto Cavalry, as the terrain favors them as much as the Unicorn. Other than that, they could harry a defending force with night raids and precision strikes to their heart's content.
In the standard, the Unicorn do not adopt siege tactics unless absolutely necessary. However, when they do, preferred methods are exploiting superior mobility in order to cut off supply lines. A standard Unicorn force cannot field the numbers to take a castle directly, but by extending raid tactics, they can effectively force surrender by morale, supplies, or seppuku. Obviously, this puts them at a disadvantage when dealing with a Taited fortress, since none of those really apply, but in the case of Shiro Moto, unless the Darkness has made major changes, they shouldn't have a problem.
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Post by Hida Tetsuko on May 14, 2017 13:18:49 GMT 10
I am reading about the battle and the only reason the Lion had a chance was that Chags just go back from his march on Toshi Ranbo. But given that was the reason it was attacked at all, it's six of one.
I have the Unicorn encamped south of the place, and these night raids you're talking about are probably constantly happening when while Harun is there. They'd also need constant patrols as Daigoro is no doubt sending them out to harass them.
I'm getting a few ideas, might try a few things. Like sending Harun maybe on one of those patrols...
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Post by Daigotsu Enshiro on May 14, 2017 17:13:34 GMT 10
I would imagine that the Unicorn wouldn't really engage in a traditional siege. Against a prideful/ glory seeking warlord of the shadowlands, they would probably try to bait the main force out of the castle by presenting some sort of inferior fighting force. Once outside the walls, cavalry could easily flank and do considerable damage. Failing that, they would probably resort to ladders and scale the walls, opening the gate for the main force. Although, a sufficiently powerful shugenja can absolutely wreck buildings/walls, amongst the bajillion other things they could do to really change the nature of a siege (fly, summon, create bridges/stairs from earth, invisibility, just to name a few). The Iuchi shugenja are really good at Battle and Travel related things. They would probably help speed people up for better hit and runs. Oh, and they can teleport.
Post by Daigotsu Enshiro on May 14, 2017 17:45:27 GMT 10
I think it's more that cavalry maneuvers tend to cause fear and confusion rather than rely on them. Typically, they were used for the morale shocks that tended to disperse a force, especially an undisciplined force like ashigaru. Cavalry also, however, are really good at going where they are needed and hitting hard. Flanking, taking out undefended command/supply units/archers are all good uses. The Unicorn are really good at exemplifying this. I remember, in 3rd edition, there is the Iuchi Master of the Swift Waves, who as a Complex Action plus a Void point, can multiply the speed of all horses within 300 ft by a factor of ten. A round in L5R is anywhere from 3 to 10 seconds, meaning that those Utaku Warhorses are now moving anywhere from 81 to 272 miles per hour. Which is utterly ridiculous. Of course, this is 4th edition, but there are still a number of other ways to ignore terrain penalties and faitgue and whatnot.