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/tg/ - Traditional Games

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>The setting is a fantastical realm corresponding technologically to the victorian era, though with many fantastical magics, creatures, and technologies
>Several decades ago, the world's greatest power invaded a no-name country simply because they wanted what was in it
>Resistance was futile against the disciplined and well-equipped armies of the invader
>In a last ditch effort, the maddest of scientists were gathered together to create a superweapon to drive the invaders back
>Though they succeeded, it was not in time to prevent the pillaging and disintegration of their beloved homeland
>In a last desperate act, the weapon was unleashed as a means of retribution
>This weapon was a self-replicating breed of patchwork artificial humans, without minds of their own and lacking self-awareness, but having the adaptability to fight and learn
>The result was a long, bloody war against everything that bordered them as they mindlessly fought everything around them
>While the hordes were driven back, they were not the same as when they had started
>From non-sapience arose intelligence, and a caste of superhuman elite evolved from the mindless masses, and learned to control them, commanding absolute obedience
>These intelligences ended the war, pulling back into their homeland and erecting sprawling defenses as they pondered on what they should do next
>Numbering in the tens of thousands while their servants number several million, this new society has to come to terms with what it is, and how it can survive dozens of angry neighbors with a score to settle

What would such a society be like? One where all menial labor is done by mindless flesh automatons, everyone is grown in vats, and only elite administrators have any true self-awareness? Would there, for example, be military parades, since there was no need to motivate the peasantry? Would every 'aristocrat' stay by themselves or would a close union grow between them? What else might matter? Assume roughly human psychology.
>Assume roughly human psychology.
So the leaders are corruptable. Let me make everything simple then: you have a lower class of literally mindless automatons and an objectively better upper class that rules everything. What is preventing that ruling class from just living the good life as their mindless servants run everything, maintaining only minimal vigilance against foreign invasions (which will eventually grow ever more lax as the chances of another military invasion become (in their perception) less likely)? You get a large mass of mindless slaves and a small leisure class. If there are still 'ordinary' humans left, they'll probably be kept satisfied just enough to not outright revolt (or deliberately kept ignorant and starving like in North Korea and comparable dictatorial regimes).
>What is preventing that ruling class from just living the good life as their mindless servants run everything
>You get a large mass of mindless slaves and a small leisure class.
More or less yeah, that's what I was thinking of as the basic structure of their society.

The big problems are that the workers, while adaptable, need direction from the elites to function at peak efficiency (prior to the evolution of the ruling caste they just threw bodies at a problem and learned by doing instead of thinking), so they have the role of directing the masses during projects and and campaigns and such. Another thing is that this species is essentially designed for war, so I feel like even the ruling caste would place value on martial skill (even purely for pride's sake) and maintaining physical fitness. Like Sparta without the risk of revolt. Really my main interest is figuring out how the culture of the sapient caste would develop. How would a society that has all that power but has such low numbers of intelligent citizens evolve? I personally feel like the ruling caste would grow very close-knit, for example, with everyone knowing everyone else at least in passing, especially because of the whole looming threat of the human nations surrounding them.
>Another thing is that this species is essentially designed for war, so I feel like even the ruling caste would place value on martial skill (even purely for pride's sake) and maintaining physical fitness.
It will really depend on how the intelligences develop.

If it's an evolutionary intelligence, and these things are fed into a meat grinder, then the ones who get basic combat experience will still die in mass combat.

The ones who survive? Will be the ones who adopt coward tactics, not the ones who learn how to fight. They will "learn" the most effective way to not die, is to have a lot of people between them and the enemy, and to retreat when threatened.

I would wager it would be archers and other ranged attackers who would pick up on "move away from enemy to continue combat without dying" and if one extrapolates on that, you end up with the leaders of this race hardwired to FUCKING LEGGIT if they feel an enemy force approaching.

They wouldn't be martial, but they would definitely not skip leg day.
>If it's an evolutionary intelligence
the worker caste are, yes, but they were not design to evolve to greater degrees of self-preservation, but rather to more efficiently exterminate the enemy. Out of particularly vicious battlefields arose the first sentient castes, who took a look around them and thought "Why exactly are we doing this?" and started to conduct a fighting retreat back to their 'homeland'. Over the course of the war, several different breeds of intelligent flesh automaton developed, each with different traits. Some are fast enough to dodge musketfire, others strong enough to crush through metal armor with a fist, others have superhuman focus or or inhuman social intelligence, but all have roughly the same emotional spectrum as the species they were based on, that being humans. However, it sort of became personal near the end when the war ended up taking the lives of their sentient brethren (they had never experienced loss until then) along with the expendable class, which is why enmity still exists between them and the human factions.
>but rather to more efficiently exterminate the enemy.
And that STILL will produce a higher attrition rate in melee combatants to ranged combatants. The melee combatants will be vulnerable every moment of the way, and the ranged ones only have to learn to fall back to be able to swiftly build on their skills.

Let's call the ones who survive initial battles as elites, the ones who aren't yet sentient but have learned how to fight more efficiently.

The ones who retreat while fighting will still have a far more effective combat strength, and it will be the archers who learn that cowardice will be the best way to kill more of the enemy.

However... There will quite possibly opportunities for a ranged elites to have the support of their melee comrades. The ones who learn how to use their melee hordes as mobile cover will do better, and the ones who keep their melee groups alive using their superhuman aim and rapid fire will do the best.

With such protection, those are the melee units who will gain experience and intelligence the fastest - the ones who are most receptive to the archer elites and do whatever they are told

You'd end up with archer leaders with elite melee troops that may or may not become sentient, but effectively bonded loyally to their archer masters. And this ties in perfectly to the retreat that was mentioned, why when becoming sentient they pulled back.

It paints a cute picture, in fact - the archers care for their bonded melee companions deeply, and in return they will lay down their lives for their archer leaders, even after becoming sapient.

-that's how I feel it'd play out, of course.
The setting is more about the pike and shot or musket line style combat that could work.
Ah, right, I totally forgot it was pike and shot victorian/napoleon era.

That changes things up.

Picture the scene... hordes of mindless humans. A gunline forms at the top of the hill.

The order to fire is given, and the first row of the Horde die in musketfire, along with the others.

As one, the Horde turns and charges.

The gunline reloads frantically, not expecting the speed of their assault, the fearless horde not faltering.

The second volley cuts down another row of the horde, before they smash into the gunline, routing them.

The Horde is swift, and they take out the enemy with surprising force. Some of them may learn to pick up guns - but they're a stationary target, and are more easy to hit. No, it is the fastest, the ones who evade the most effectively and who can break the enemy morale the best who will survive.

But... where will they go from there? -Their instincts, their learned experience has taught them that the best way to slaughter the enemy is to break their gunline, to slaughter their leaders and bannerholders and flagwavers, to sneak in amidst the fog of the battlefield, the smog of the muskets and cut them down.

They wouldn't retreat, no. They'd attack. They'd attack and attack and attack because they wouldn't know what running away meant, or they'd dimly understand that it's the best way to get shot. They'd become stealthy, evasive, they'd become assassins. Coming out of the night at superhuman speeds, tearing the leaders, the nobles apart in a brief strike, and then move on to strike at the next targets. Wiping out leaders in their camps, in their supply trains, in their routs, kill, kill, kill. And through, into the civilian populace beyond.

You wouldn't see these people retreat, Anon. You'd see them attack. Attack, press home what they know, until every leader of mankind has been slaughtered, and then - vanish. A dark curse on those who had attacked their nation, haunting their populace forevermore.
>>You wouldn't see these people retreat, Anon. You'd see them attack.
Of course, this is how they continue to win against foreign incursions despite their lower numbers
>A dark curse on those who had attacked their nation, haunting their populace forevermore.
This is where things might change, however. Basically the society will be torn on whether to just fuck everything and go isolationist, try to build an empire, or make amends with the nations who were embroiled in the previous war, though there's no telling which faction will win.
I'm trying to figure out WHY these people who's intelligences start off as "exterminate anyone not us as effectively as we can" would learn how to retreat, as their experiences on the battlefield is what would mould their personalities.

One doesn't retreat if one doesn't know HOW to retreat. I was using the archers as a key point because they at least would know how to fall back and from there it made sense. But an intelligence that learns that routing the enemy is the best way to survive is going to continue using that tactic.

So far, we've got the infiltrators and slayers who would most likely persevere vs victorian gunlines. Those ones wouldn't know how to retreat... unless they figured out that running in on their own wouldn't allow them to escape, and capitalise on it. At that point... THEN they would work out that they need the mindless horde to command, and if their brethren were killed too much, then they would not be able to do the killing themselves.

So if their armies are too badly beaten, then they will learn how to fall back and regroup. There.

-At that point, you've got people who are conniving, duplicitous, sociopathic but also caring of their own populace numbers as a whole. They may care for other sapient folks, since they will know how to use others as distractions for making their own kills. They will be brutal and bloody but they won't want to stand out because those who stand out will get singled out, and they will prefer to be in the dark because it's more difficult to be shot in the dark.

They'd be total edgelords, bro.
>They'd be total edgelords, bro.
Very possibly. Unfortunately I seriously need to sleep now but thanks for input.
No problem! Hope it helped!
Honestly, I think the cowardly but motherly archer - with dumb but caring melee couples would be more fun to play around with than edgy loners that hide in crowds, but there you go.
The only guarantee of long-term safety against attack by outsiders is for there to be nobody besides us.
>WW1 trench warfare against an omnicidal swarm of frankenstein monsters which drag corpses off the battlefield to reproduce themselves.
>The only guarantee of long-term safety against attack by outsiders is for there to be nobody besides us.
To be honest, a military mindset will work out what the enemy are after, if it's a resource. Learning to read and understand the enemy's command structure is important and it will follow that they will understand what orders are given.

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