Puddle Jump Squad

I was looking up some lovely powerful rituals on the wiki and I eventually came across the Mass Repel-inducing summer ritual with a magnitude of 60. If a coven all had three realms of summer lore, all mastered the ritual and were in a summer Regio, they only need five ritualists to cast this twice a day. I was wondering if the Senate had ever thought of making government-backed covens with special access to a summer regio would specialise in enchanting as many people as possible with the mass Repel usage. If even one coven was doing this, the Empire would still be able to use two highly-effective shock troops per day, potentially making a big difference in battles. The enchanted fighters could run at enemy shield walls, casually cast mass Repel on them, and retreat as their comrades attacked the fleeing enemies. If the Senate got really into it, they might have three or four covens taking it in turns to use the same summer Regio, producing dozens of such troops per event. It would mean shield walls would be easily breached and enemy charges easily stopped. The main disadvantage is that mass repel affects everybody, including friendlies, meaning you’d also need some unarmored runners who’d cast the spells. What do you all think of such an idea?

  1. It’s a good idea, Mass Repel is very effective at just what you’ve suggested.

  2. There are larger summer covens able to crank that one out, and indeed bigger spells. So there’s no shortage of summer power on the field, as shown by the thousands upon thousands upon frickin’ thousands of Knights of Glory that have been called up over the last year or two.

  3. Given that the Imperial Regio at Anvil is a Summer Regio (and all other sorts as well), no shortage of that aspect.

  4. Mass repels have been used successfully on the battlefield to break lines, so utilisation isn’t too bad (last example I can think of was E4 last year, when Navarr blew a line of Jotun back into their own fort)

  5. However, few people will want to play such a character, or indeed such a group, for such a narrow purpose…
    “What do you do?”
    “I’m in the Big Summer Repel squad. I cast the same ritual twice a day for three days. And that’s it…”
    “It’s a very good call though…”

  6. And assuming you can get a powerful Summer coven together (easy), get sufficient mana to cast it (okay), and get some time in the Regio to do so (bit of a queue…), is it worth it? Given the strategic summer rituals of large size (Knights of Glory, Frozen Citadel, others no doubt…), is it worth using the power of the coven up for a fleeting battlefield advantage, or for a major wieght on the campaign map…

  7. And the Senate doesn’t really have to power to decree covens into being. That depends on the player characters being available, and maybe their national senators or the Conclave bossing them into a coven. They could, I suppose, pay for such an Imperial coven to be formed…?

On a metagaming level, I’d say that one such group doing that would be useful. Having one Mass Repel in the toolkit for each battle would be very useful, and that would be 2 out of 6 possible castings for the Big Summer Coven. More than that is probably a waste…

However, you need to persuade the ritualists to do it.

I suggest you pursue this in-game, possibly by playing a battlefield ritualist wanting to unleash potent magics to crush your enemies on the field! Possibly in Urizen or Dawn? Maybe Wintermark?

4 Likes

Another key issue here is that the mana is spent when the ritual is cast, not when it is released. This means that you’re spending 30 mana (if mastered) for 1 call, which is going to be wasted if the individual carrying it isn’t in the right place at the right time (or worse gets dropped by an inconvenient archer and dies)

In terms of breaking lines, unless it’s a mission critical chokepoint, it’s actually more efficient to get a squad of competent battle mages, give them 5 mana each and tell them to all hit the line at the same time. It’s not as big an effective, but a broken line is a broken line. You can scale the mana spend to how desperate the situation is, and if you never need to use it you just keep the mana in your pocket and save it for another day.

In the past the mass call rituals have been deployed when we know there’s going to be an issue, say we know that we’re going to have to break through a gate or a fortification, but a lot of the time the consensus seems to be that there are better ways to spend the mana. (2x mass repel = an entire army buffed for a season. 3x mass repel = 1x magical fortification guarding a territory for a season. Etc)

1 Like

I’ve carried Mass Weakness into battle on two separate occasions and, while it’s awesome to unleash and see the faces of the monsters when you do so, it’s rarely as effective as you might think. Same with Mass Venom, Mass Repel, et al. They’re showy, and fun, but rarely turn the tide of battle.

1 Like

I have once turned the tide with a mass weakness - one of the battle objectives was to stop a ritual and it was looking a bit iffy whether the fighters would storm the regio in time. Luckily they didn’t need to :slight_smile:

I don’t think we’re going to get another regio on the field. And while the idea of a Senate sponsored Summer coven might sound like it makes sense IC, OOC you’ve got to persuade players to play it. Cat herding such specialised groups either succeeds because that’s what a group of friends really want to do, or fails because people don’t find it their idea of fun. The Senate officially sponsoring one wouldn’t alter that.

2 Likes

Mass Venom is best to use against Vallorn husks and other things, it’s excellent at crowd control in the skirmishes I’ve been on.

1 Like

I think the most important bit there is who pays for it, well, that and thats not something the senate can do :smiley: Generally mass calls are a bit too pricey to be cast out of pocket and there are a million other things after your mana or more importantly your coven slots!

Yeah Mass Venom is the special bonus effect of “Anti-Vallornhusk Flamethrower” (Those those of you who aren’t Navarr/magic nerds, VENOM explodes vallorn husks)

The one I keep meaning to try is “enchant 4-5 battlemages with Shatter, chuck them 4 mana each and instruct them to to go berserk with that spell on command”. Which costs the same 30 mana and only needs at minimum someone with Day Lore 1 and 10 minutes.

I like the idea and it is particularly show-ey but its a case of finding people who need/ want it. And justifying the 30 man when for the same cost and same people you can give fortification an extra 1,500 strength. Which arguably would have a larger impact on the wider empire world then just there.

Also I think the regio numbers may be slighty off.
5 Ritualist all at rank 3 = 15
All in Summer Regio +5
Total - 20
So Mastered then gives 40.
You’d either need to find a couple more Summer Mages, or have people drink potions each time, increasing the cost.

But I like the idea of a senate sponsoring coves, unfortunatley I don’t thin their’s the money or time to support it. The closest thing we’ve got so far is the Imperial Necromancer.
But overall Mass calls are an interesting one, very much in debate

Its a good idea - but the organisation and the cost will be quite demanding obstacles to overcome. The senate has very limited funds and tends to prioritize long term strategic funding options such as great works, forts, etc rather than battlefield capability. Not to say it’s not doable, but asking for 30+ mana everyday adds up - and it would need to be a proven battlewinner.

If you’ve got 7 people in a summer coven all with Mana sites you can cheerfully blow 30 mana a game on a battlefield or skirmish mass repel. But as people have said, you have to get those 7 people together and get them to work together.

But I can see say an urizeni coven dedicated to battle magic with most of them taking the field in armour but one or two battle mages having a mass repel for just the right moment.

But don’t expect much in the way of mana from Senate. Perhaps you might get some from the conclave orders once you get a rep. But that’s that game :).

2 Likes

Ok, thanks. Maybe it’d be the job for a private order in that case, working to defend the Empire by using mass calls and other powerful spells. The coven would meet to imbue one of its members and then it would disperse to cast cheaper rituals amongst themselves.

If you’re looking for support for magic on the battlefield looking at senate is definitely the wrong place to start. Look to military council , Generals are the ones running the battles both in up and downtime :Look to the Conclave, The Mages there are the single greatest supply of magic and magical knowledge that the empire has The order of the Rod and Shield are specifically about finding battlefield uses for magic and ensuring it gets deployed. an d above all Look to the Warmage. Its their job to organise the magic that the empire has for the military council.

The senate’s only contribution would be throwing money at the issue (which we don’t have) or maybe recognising a Sodality (but that’s largely useless for your purposes). Maybe, maybe we could set the civil service to investigating if there is anything that the empire has down the back of the sofa that might help but its unlikely to produce anything massively useful. Neither Senate nor Military council nor the Conclave can Order a citizen to join a particular coven or with a few exceptions undertake a specific task and honestly I think the senators would just point at the Warmage and go “organising this is their task.”

4 Likes

The main group who I tend to think of as taking a real interest in this area (and who have resources to dedicate) are the Order of the Rod and Shield. War magic is their thing, so persuading them to help organise or even fund this kind of job might be an option.

The Military Council is always enthusiastic about such rituals, but has no actual resources to give anyone and also no capacity to organise covens. Thus I would be more inclined to organise through Conclave and then offer the option.

2 Likes