miércoles, 28 de septiembre de 2016
Review of Los Rompeasedios
In today's review I will show you the supplement Los Rompeasedios (now on sale at Lektu and DriveThruRPG), one of the rewards of the patronage of the role-playing game La Puerta de Ishtar (which I reviewed time ago here), which costarred one of the more recent blog and which patrons have just got (by the way, the game book is again be on sale in physical format as a pocket edition in Spain as Other Selves has communicated).
Los Rompeasedios goal is to present an introduction to wars and use of mercenaries in the lands of Akkad and does it through 20 pages devoted to matters of military and siege techniques, an example of a mercenary company (the Siege Breakers giving title to the supplement) and a glossary of military terms.
In this first part there's the description of the distinct techniques used in the siege of city-states in Akkad.
The primary means of break down the walls (whether made of adobe bricks or stone) protecting these cities consists in using battering rams protected by wooden towers with wheels, covered with hides or even bronze plates in the case of the bigger ones, which are moisten with water to prevent the defenders destroying them with fire.
Regarding the soldiers participating in the assaults, they have ladders allowing them to overcome the walls while being protected by bowmen steadily shooting to the top of the battlements who are also protected by shields. Sappers also play an important role in the sieges building the ramps needed by the towers to reach the walls and digging tunnels below to collapse them, and the infiltrators who may go unseen inside the sieged city and, for example, open the doors so their mates can enter and occupy it.
Mercenary companies are a common sight in conflicts happening in the Kishar and, although it may seem strange, are officialy sanctioned by Sargon to act (this can also be considered as a way of controlling the military forces in his empire and prevent noblemen having great armies and supposing a danger in the long run), although this don't avoid the existence of groups deciding to act at their own risk and without royal sanction, so at hte end they can be considered bandits or outlaw plunderers.
One of the most famous mercenary companies is the Siege Breakers and, as you may deduce for its name, they can swiftly end a siege whether entering the city or fortress to be ocupied or making the invading army flee.
This company have between 200 and 300 men and there's an organization scheme as well as the units composing it. The commanding characters (whose sheets are already filled and can be found at the end of the supplement, so they can be used straight in any gaming session or campaign) are the following ones:
The base of the Siege Breakers is situated in the ruins of the Wall of Shulgi, an inmense rampart protecting the remains of the ancient empire of Ur (as you may see in the previous Wikipedia links the real world is referenced again in creating the game world of La Puerta de Ishtar).
To finish the supplement there's an extense glossary of military terms in Akkadian culled from various historiographical sources as I have seen in a quick Goggle search, so I have found a reference to the Rabi Kakki (armourers) in this entry of the online dictionary of the Association Assyrophile de France and a reference to the Rab Kisri (commanders of 200 men force) in this article of Warlord Games to give a couple of examples.
Los Rompeasedios is supplement fullfilling what was promised in the patronage, although I really think it's a bit short considering the ideas exposed and which one can guess could be implemented in a session or campaign of La Puerta de Ishtar like for instance taking part in the siege or defense of cities or the chance of player characters leading an army.
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