Username:    Password:      Remember me       
Great White Games/Pinnacle Entertainment Group Forum Index Great White Games/Pinnacle Entertainment Group
Discussion Forum for PEG/GWG
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

The Level of Violence in the Great Rail Wars

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Great White Games/Pinnacle Entertainment Group Forum Index -> Deadlands: The Weird West
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
iskandar
Novice


Joined: 14 Aug 2012
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:08 pm    Post subject: The Level of Violence in the Great Rail Wars Reply with quote

Okay, quick question here, how violent exactly are the great rail wars? Because the materials are suggesting that this is a conflict on the level of the civil war (smith and robards mentions "hundreds of thousands of lives lost) yet on the other hand the biggest battles we see are maybe 5,000 on each side, definitely a "brushfire" level conflict, the battle of the cauldron write up in last sons points towards a fight that killed about 2,000 ish people and its supposed to have been the biggest punch up of the wars before lost angels. So how do we approach this? I was thinking of approaching it sort of like a Congo or other African civil war type conflict, with relatively little military deaths while an immense amount of cruelty to civilians, yet even that makes little sense. We continually see reference to constant attacks on civilian trains, yet it seems a bit strange that the USA and CSA would be fine and dandy as thousands of their citizens are slaughtered. So, out of all curiosity, how do we bring this all into line?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Clint
Site Admin


Joined: 13 May 2003
Posts: 17334

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Great Rail Wars have gone on for 11 years with 6 (or more counting Grimme and native american actions) participants on multiple levels of almost continuous conflict though on different fronts.

The numbers lost in the "big" battles may not seem large, but the sheer number of smaller conflicts, cross-conflicts, and the like is the primary contributor. If each side fought the others an average of just once a month and lost about 50 men per conflict on average as well, we'd be right at 200K deaths for those 11 years.

Add in the bigger battles and those averages are easier to hit, especially once you figure in Hellstromme's finale at Lost Angels probably exceeded the death toll for any other full-scale battle in just a few seconds.

I would definitely seriously consider before making the majority of the casualties civilians. First off, that's part of the horror and shock of what Hellstromme did that's makes him so scary to others now. Also, (I believe) Last Sons mentions that the Lawrenceville conflict marked the first time troops had engaged "civilian" railworkers.

While civilian losses have certainly occurred, I don't think making them the source of the most loss is necessary, and it alters things that could cause confusion too.
_________________
Clint Black
Savage Worlds Core Rules Brand Manager

www.peginc.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
iskandar
Novice


Joined: 14 Aug 2012
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clint wrote:
The Great Rail Wars have gone on for 11 years with 6 (or more counting Grimme and native american actions) participants on multiple levels of almost continuous conflict though on different fronts.

The numbers lost in the "big" battles may not seem large, but the sheer number of smaller conflicts, cross-conflicts, and the like is the primary contributor. If each side fought the others an average of just once a month and lost about 50 men per conflict on average as well, we'd be right at 200K deaths for those 11 years.

Add in the bigger battles and those averages are easier to hit, especially once you figure in Hellstromme's finale at Lost Angels probably exceeded the death toll for any other full-scale battle in just a few seconds.

I would definitely seriously consider before making the majority of the casualties civilians. First off, that's part of the horror and shock of what Hellstromme did that's makes him so scary to others now. Also, (I believe) Last Sons mentions that the Lawrenceville conflict marked the first time troops had engaged "civilian" railworkers.

While civilian losses have certainly occurred, I don't think making them the source of the most loss is necessary, and it alters things that could cause confusion too.


what I mean about civilians is that there is constant mention of enemy assaults (especially those g*&%$#mned witches at Black River freaking hate those girls) on the trains of other companies. Lets say a train gets derailed and hit, that's about 150 civilians dead right there. I mean, this is said as one of the reasons why Union Blue are the faces in all of this, they don't randomly assault civilian trains like they are the joker on crack, which is their big advantage in the rail wars, people like them. This assumes that there is a decent level of violence against civilians, though maybe its only Hellstromme that does it so deliberately which is why he is such a horrible human being. Ah well, I guess I'll probably just keep it as my own little homebrew version of the great rail wars, mostly because the disputed lands seem to lack a bit of the horror of the great maze. The great maze with its cannibal cult and all is an otherworldly type of horror, the disputed lands is a lot like the real world wild west on ghost rock crack. Adding in the whole democratic republic of the congo vibe I think might help terrify my players by adding in a form of terror they explicitly do not associate with the us. Wow, I think I just made deadlands even more of a terrible place to live in.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
iamfanboy
Novice


Joined: 18 Sep 2011
Posts: 88

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I really think that things like train derailments and mass murder of civilians are rare even during the Great Rail Wars - after all, that one ghost train on the Union Blue tracks was a HUGE deal, as was Hellstromme's rather, ah, dramatic ending to the war.

Because of that, it's easier for me to believe that the rail companies have a 'hands-off' approach when it comes to customers - after all, even if he's riding on a competitor's railroad today doesn't mean that he won't ride on yours tomorrow!

Considering the low-reported incidents of sabotage along rear rail lines (even Baron Lacroix only set trains full of vampires on his competitor's lines, not tear them up), there's almost certainly some sort of tacit agreement that already-laid rail lines are inviolate. Railheads, scouting expeditions, and supplies to the actual troops are fair targets, not the customers and the infrastructure.

Probably each rail company knows that they can't protect EVERY mile of track, and so the concentration of the Rail Wars is stopping competitors from going forward, not destroying where they've already been.

Just as historical cattle wars concentrated on shooting other humans and stealing cattle, not poisoning the cattle outright (and escalating the war WAY too far), it seems that the rail companies aren't waging all-out war.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
iskandar
Novice


Joined: 14 Aug 2012
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

from the description of dodge city in last sons:

black river's passenger service is a bit more regular because Union Blue refuses to attack civilians.

from the players guide (page 21): the wichita witches have been known to dynamite trestles and send entire trainloads of honest folk to their doom just to inconvenience other rail barons.

not to mention the night trains that massacre entire towns, sent by bayou vermillion, I dunno about you guys but the definite vibe I got from the rail wars as presented by the book is that unless those guys staring at you are wearing union blue uniforms, it does not matter what you are you're still a target. Note, this is different than tearing up railways, I mean that they won't hesitate to destroy rolling stock and other equipment even if they have civilians on them.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ValhallaGH
Legendary


Joined: 25 Apr 2010
Posts: 5911

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iskandar wrote:
the wichita witches have been known to dynamite trestles and send entire trainloads of honest folk to their doom just to inconvenience other rail barons.

Which is why they are one of the most feared and hated groups in the West. Period. Even the Cowboys in Tombstone have to work to generate the levels of fear and hate that the Wichita Witches live with every day.

iskandar wrote:
not to mention the night trains that massacre entire towns,

And no one knows about those. Not that there were many of them to begin with - after various troubleshooters brought them to the attention of the Rangers and Agency (not to mention both armies), there shouldn't be more than one Night Train still in existence.

______________________________________________
About half of all trains at the time were Freight.
A truly mind-boggling percentage of people survive a simple train crash. It takes plunging into a massive hole, or similarly extraordinary incident, to get more than 30% immediate fatalities - though the state of medicine mean that about 50% of the seriously wounded will probably die.
The battle zones were generally at the rail heads, and very little passenger traffic goes up to those.

Just some stuff to think about when putting together your Weird West. Very Happy
_________________
"Got a problem? I've got the solution: Rocket Launcher."
"Not against a Servitor."
"... We're all gonna die."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
iskandar
Novice


Joined: 14 Aug 2012
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ValhallaGH wrote:

iskandar wrote:
not to mention the night trains that massacre entire towns,

And no one knows about those. Not that there were many of them to begin with - after various troubleshooters brought them to the attention of the Rangers and Agency (not to mention both armies), there shouldn't be more than one Night Train still in existence.

______________________________________________
About half of all trains at the time were Freight.
A truly mind-boggling percentage of people survive a simple train crash. It takes plunging into a massive hole, or similarly extraordinary incident, to get more than 30% immediate fatalities - though the state of medicine mean that about 50% of the seriously wounded will probably die.
The battle zones were generally at the rail heads, and very little passenger traffic goes up to those.

Just some stuff to think about when putting together your Weird West. Very Happy


The last sons story segments make it seem like there are far more than one night trains in operation. As for the whole violence thing, I might keep the whole "democratic republic of the congo" vibe as a homebrew, I really kinda like the idea of a hellish region where people mine ghost rock while private armies tear states apart in continual skirmishes and atrocities. It just seems so deadlands-ey, where supernatural horror is rare but you won't notice it because mundane horror is so common.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Great White Games/Pinnacle Entertainment Group Forum Index -> Deadlands: The Weird West All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum