Advice on Enchanting Run Amok

Hi all,

I’m about to start a new campaign with a group that has played one or two short games of BW (myself included). One of our core premises is that the Old Empire they are all from has been conquered by another society. In pre-planning, we decided that the big magical power that helped the new order conquer the old was a societal focus on enchanting. The idea we’re going with is that this conquering army was spearheaded by what are in essence fantasy space-marines, fully kitted out in enchanted weapons and armor.

I like this idea a lot, since it manages to work in a sort of large scale technological change that I haven’t seen in fantasy RPG campaigns I’ve been a part of. Still, I’m a little leery of the idea, due to the warnings in the codex about being stingy with enchanting.

My questions are:

  1. In BW, how much of a power differential would there be between similarly skilled swordsman in differently shaded arms and armor? If I’m a gray-equipped warrior, am I ever threatened by someone wearing/wielding black shade equipment, or do I just keep dicing them up with impunity until my arms get tired?
  2. If I go with this plan, but limit it to say, 200 to 300 elite magical armored troops, what sort of silly game-breaking things should I look out for?

I appreciate any advice, and if anyone sees any other major issues, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Black Armor doesn’t get to roll against Grey Weapons.

Almost everyone has a Black Mortal Wound. Depending on how you build your character (especially for Humans) you’re going to start with a B9-11MW. So, if you take a hit that’s above that, you die. Swords do something like your Power +3, maybe 6-8, depending on how you build your character, and can do 9-12, if you hit really well.

Grey Weapons add 16 to their Damage against Black Mortal Wound characters.

You can defend yourself - Block, Avoid, Counter-Strike - Grey weapons normally (as far as I know) but, everyone who does not have Grey Armor or Mortal Wound will die in one hit from a Grey Weapon

Technologically speaking, it’s a categorical difference. A Grey Shaded sword is basically a lightsaber.

Grey Armor is pretty normal against Black Weapons, if I recall correctly. They do roll with 3s as successes, as per normal with Grey stuff. Full Plate is, what? 6(7)D? A Superior Sword is VA +1, +1 if you Great Strike? So that’s G6 vs Ob 3, assuming you’re brazen enough to Great Strike against someone who can kill you in one hit. As the Grey Knight, I like those odds. I’m gonna choose Chest for the target of your attack everytime, so it’s G7 vs Ob3 unless you weaken your strike to hit me elsewhere, and you probably died setting up the Great Strike anyway because I can risk just attacking you every Action.

Though, that assumes two swordsmen using simple, equivalent tactics. As the Black Knight, I don’t wear armor at all. I try to close into Hands Range and Lock you up, or I close into Mace Range with my Spiked Pommel. If I can get a long polearm, even better. In a sword fight, I go into Defensive Stance as my first action, and I spend as much of the exchange wearing you down with Blocks as I can. I bring buddies to Help. I isolate you in tight quarters with my stiletto. I roll Armor-wise in the hopes of knowing a gap.

As a Player, the Grey Knight can be beaten, but I want to stack the deck in my favor as much as possible. The Grey Knight is a Dragon; you stalk him, learn his weaknesses, and engage him on the field of your choosing.

Then you take his stuff and become the monster yourself!

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Thanks a lot for this explanation. It’s exactly what I was looking for. I was reading the text of the rules, but I couldn’t quite see what effect they had as a whole.

I’m very comfortable with the idea that a single one of these soldiers is a terrifying juggernaut that requires tons of planning to take down. I also like that one of the grey knights going down would be a huge issue for the conquerors, since they will need to try and get that gear back as soon as possible.

“Now I have a grey sword. Ho-ho-ho”

Grey Armor can fail against black weapons.

So there’s a chance the Ewoks can still kill the Space Marines with their rocks.

Grey armor is already in the game as Dwarven Mithril. My PC’s wear it and get wounded all the time! :frowning:

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Why waste all that energy training warriors and making weapons and closing to hand-to-hand fighting? An army of children with rocks could defeat 200-300 elite soldiers (in nearly any era, honestly).

In a stand-up, 1-1 fight, these elite soldiers would be nearly invincible. In an asymmetric war, they’re just as vulnerable as anyone else. They can be knocked down, trapped, pummeled, overwhelmed, poisoned or just plain assassinated.

Sounds like a fun campaign!

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Think about the culture this would create.
On a military level, the elite warriors would try to force mass battles in which they could romp. Outside of battle, would they be arrogant and consider themselves untouchable heroes as well? Or would they be reclusive, paranoid tyrants, terrified that someone might get close enough to slip a knife between their ribs?

Their opposition would be best served by a chaotic, asymmetric insurgency.

But retribution would be swift and brutal as the invincible warriors would increasingly appear to wipe out any standing population, because no mass battle would present itself.

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I’ve been trying to come up with knock-on effects for the culture, and I definitely appreciate the extra input.

We worked in some horrific reprisals as the inciting event for the campaign (i.e. some nobles rebelled, tried to fight conventionally, and were wiped out in the aftermath), but the insurgency part hadn’t come up yet. I’ll be excited to see where the players take it, since a few of the party members pitched themselves as being collaborationists, if not outright allies of the new bosses.

I also thought the magic gear might lead to the super-soldiers needing to keep their identities secret. If you know who they are, you can find out where they live. They can’t always be in armor, and if you don’t keep them all in some sort of central compound, it would be too easy for them to be ambushed at home or asleep and have their weapons and armor stolen from them to equip the opposition. That, or the gear is kept in some sort of central location where it can be watched over and protected.

It’s neat that the distinction between grey and black equipment is so stark, since the soldiers begin to look like fantasy versions of tanks. Real useful in pitched battles, but hard to use effectively in the close confines of a city where you can be ambushed and surrounded. In a way, they are worse than tanks, since normally if someone blows up my M1 Abrams, they can’t then hop into it and drive it around after.

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It’s guns.

OK, relevant question - would 40k Space Marines have a Grey Mortal Wound?

I like the idea of there being some kind of religious element to these guys. They’re the sacred warrior class, indoctrinated to believe in their own holy magnificence and given isolated pleasure palaces where their every whim is catered to.

Everyone knows who these guys are, and there are taboos about looking upon them directly should you by graced by their presence. Which is unlikely to happen because whole streets are shut down to accommodate their passage, buildings are cleared for their use, and a retinue of lesser, though still elite, soldiers accompany them in public to keep the riff raff at bay.

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