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Discussion Let's Talk About Dark Elf Black Arks

Discussion in 'Fluff and Stories' started by Scalenex, Jan 12, 2020.

  1. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    A tangent on the seasonal variation thread lead to a great emerging discussion on Black Arks.


    So let us talk about all things Black Ark here.

    Here are some questions for discussion.

    Without a Slann creating a hurricane or some other god-like feat of magic, could the Lizardmen conceivably sink or at least repel a Black Ark at sea?


    If you threw enough Saurus, Skink, and Kroxigor bodies at a beached Black Ark, the Lizardmen could beat a Black Ark by besieging it and killing every elf in it. In my opinion, the Lizardmen would probably lose at least double the soldiers that the Elves lose, maybe triple or quadruple.

    What would be the most tactical way for a Skink priest or Saurus Oldblood to plan an assault on a beached Black Ark?



    When Malekith invades Ulthuan, he usually creates a massive beach head of Black Arks as the initial thrust of his invasion. As far as I know, Malekith has never mobilized the totality of his Black Arks for anything short of invading Lustria, but most of the time, Black Ark commanders seem to have relative autonomy to sail where they want to, as long as Malekith gets a percentage of their plunder.

    The Dark Elves could easily beach one or two Black Arks on either the Lustrian east or west coast to form advanced base if they chose. Lets assume you are a Black Ark commander that wants to raid Lustria. As far as you know, if you beach the Black Ark it would be very difficult for the Lizardmen to destroy your Ark. if you stay in the water, as far as you know, it would be impossible for the Lizardmen to destroy your Ark.

    Under what scenarios would a Black Ark commander choose to beach his Ark on Lustria?


    The Dark Elves can raid Lustria with Black Arks and they can raid Lustria with conventional ships. They probably use both. Which do they prefer? Are Black Arks a common tool of raiding Lustria or a rare tool of raiding Lustria? Why? Along those lines, would Black Arks be comparatively more useful at raiding human lands or more comparatively useful raiding Lustria? Why?


    If for some reason Malekith made conquering Lustria a top priority, would the First be able to handle most or all of the Black Arks assaulting Lustria at one time if there aren't enough Slann awake to create magic exceeding that of the Big Red Book.


    If for some reason the Slann collectively decided that the Dark Elves need to be crushed, right now. Would Malekith and Morathi be able to stop the Slann from sinking most/all of their Black Arks?
     
  2. Sudsinabucket
    Stegadon

    Sudsinabucket Well-Known Member

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    I thought the lizardmen sank one off the coast of Lustria?
     
  3. Sudsinabucket
    Stegadon

    Sudsinabucket Well-Known Member

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    If I were a Oldblood I would focus on Aerial domination with Terradons as the first wave, bombing important targets, much like the Allies during WW2 when dealing with the Germans or the Rebels when dealing with the Deathstar. Bombing first any thing on deck that could be use as anti Air, whether that being bolt throwers, sorcs, archers, etc. After that the second wave would bomb and soften the landing zone, breaking down walls (if they have them?), taking down any black guard etc or other elite troops. After softened I would then send in the ripperdactyls that werent escorting the terradons to secure said landing area as I send in the first wave of Kroxigors in to break the remaining lines of Druchii as skinks hurl javelins, etc. Soon following would be the saurus and more elite spawning to further the assault and push onwards. Aerial superiority would be the first of the make or break it factors imo

    The hardest part would be getting the big monsters on board the Black Ark to fight the Hydras etc. That imo would be the biggest make it or break it. The other big tactical decision would be how far to allow the Black Ark to approach the mainland, as they would have the advantage the further out to sea you get due to the lizardmens lack of a navy (at least in lore).

    I would have my priests make as big of a storm as possible to lower visibility and to make the black ark rock back and forth to make for bad footing. I imagine a skinks vision is better than a Dark Elfs, if not the Terradon certainly does which would at least lend to being able to safely (relatively) traverse the storm. Given the fight would be on the Lustrian Shores, I feel the skink Priests would have the home advantage of the ley lines and such when it came to magical power.

    I strongly feel as soon as the dark elves landed they would inevitably lose and be driven back, as all the lizardmens might would be able to be unleashed not to mention the jungle itself would fight back. Not saying it would be easy or a few Temple Cities wouldnt fall, but in the end I dont see the Dark Elves winning

    I also say this due to one factor: Population. Lizardmen in theory have unlimited numbers and can speed up the spawning process even with the side effects (which added aggression could actually benefit more here). Dark elves, to my knowledge, have a more limited population and slaves only make good meat shields but not fighters necessarily, though if knowing no captives (except to be sacrificed or eaten) will be taken that can make even the worst soldier into a problem.

    Given a single Slann can lift or make mountains and shape/shake whole continents...in lore I feel if the Slann want a faction dead, they'd be dead, especially if all of them pool their power into one attack
     
  4. Sudsinabucket
    Stegadon

    Sudsinabucket Well-Known Member

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    Then again, perhaps letting them land is actually the best route the more I think about it after talking to a Druchii friend, this was some of his insight:

    "Black Arks are home to swarms upon swarms of Harpies in the lore that roost amongst the towers as well as manticores. Also Sorceresses would likely not be out in the open, rather in dedicated towers where they and their sacrifices are protected. But yeah if the Black Ark beached itself and came under a concentrated attack it would fall if it couldn't relaunch itself swiftly.

    TBH, bombing them at sea would be handing them more of an advantage as their sorceresses could call up their own storms etc to ground or drive away your aerial units. Probably the best bet is to lure them in so they beach, slaughter their raiding parties in the jungle then storm the ramparts using your big beasties to smash their gates open.

    And you would need hundreds of Terradons for your plan to work"

    I don't think the Terradon numbers would be an issue, especially if beached, but he brings up some good points about my plan that I hadn't thought of
     
  5. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    Yeah, if we consider the landed BA that were destroyed, their number increased:

    Citadel of Ecstatic Damnation and Jade Palace of Pain are both considered to be destroyed with the cities that were built around them.
     
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  6. Aginor
    Slann

    Aginor Fifth Spawning Staff Member

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    Soo.... what's the deal about those arks?
    What makes them so hard to kill? With that I mean: Harder than some fortress on land with a decent garrison and wizards and stuff.
     
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  7. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    Going by fluff, Arks are incredibly hard to kill, and it always required some serous, dedicated equivalent naval power… a thing the lizardmen lack.

    To have a chance to sink one of those, we would need something epic, with the involvement of a couple of named heroes and solid magic support. Involvement of Tetto 'Eko is (IMO) almost mandatory, for the power of foresight and also solid magic related to sky (bombardment / neutralize flying defences)
     
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  8. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    I know very little about the Dark Elf Fluff.

    Do they have conventional ships at all?

    [​IMG]
    Looks like it was 100% sea monsters and fortress towers? o_O
     
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  9. Sudsinabucket
    Stegadon

    Sudsinabucket Well-Known Member

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    I am told that the Druchii have fleets of corsair ships powered by sails, raiding ships somewhere between Viking Longships and Bretonnian galleons in size. The Malus books spend the majority of a book on a fleet of these Corsair ships, they are armed with bolt throwers

    This would make it entirely likely that many raiding groups would go further inland with the help of the many rivers, swamps and mangroves that connect to the oceans. If smaller raiding groups however it wouldnt be an issue to find and end them, if the jungle doesnt do it first.
     
  10. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    The Comet Spell. This is what it was made for.

    “...nuke them from orbit, just to be sure...
     
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  11. gb2098
    Saurus

    gb2098 Active Member

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    because they are basically floating mobile islands covered with giant stone castles reinforced by dark magic. normal anti-ship weapons basically do nothing, because they are optimized for use against wooden targets, which get damaged easily. nor can you board easily because the black arks, being basically giant floating castles, have thousands of troops aboard and you can't just swing over onto their decks because of the walls.

    basically, the normal way you defeat a castle is to lay siege to it. you surround it with earthworks and try to batter the walls down with catapults and/or cannons over the course of weeks, or dig tunnels under the walls to cause them to fall.
    but at sea you can't dig earth works, and since the arks are mobile you can't surround them and starve them out without using a massive fleet. nor can you easily sit your own ship off it and pound it with siege weapons for long periods of time either. and obviously tunneling isn't an option at sea. (and even aquatic races which can live under water would be hard pressed to try tunneling in since the things basically sit on giant thick slabs of solid rock, which would be difficult to tunnel through)

    the only examples where they have been defeated has been through the use of:
    • major environmental effects (tidal wave, possibly magically summoned)
    • being faced with a ship of equivalent naval power (High Elf Dragonship)
    • being over run by demons (which are ridiculously OP in strength plus they basically respawn infinitely.. and these were nurgle ones so sickness probably got half the crew)
    • being dragged down by a friggen kaiju.
     
  12. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    Sure. Just move them to shallow water.

    If these things tower 40 feet out of the water like fortresses, just move most of them to shallow water (someplace where they only have 10 feet of water under the keel/hull-bottom). If they get damaged enough to start sinking they just settle on the bottom and carry on fighting.
     
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  13. Aginor
    Slann

    Aginor Fifth Spawning Staff Member

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    Thanks for the explanation!
     
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  14. gb2098
    Saurus

    gb2098 Active Member

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    one of the difficulties in figuring out what the Lizardmen could do to defeat things like Black Arks or just navies in general is the inconsistancy of what the lizardmen have access to in terms of old ones technology. given that their oldest temples are also starships it certainly could be possible for them to make not only their own equivalent of a black ark, but even make it fly, say if they could build it around an old ones anti-grav array or the like. but at other times it seems like they only know how to use a handful of smaller artifacts (the wargear and things like the engines of the gods), and those often implied not for their intended purpose.

    their access to more normal tech compounds this as well. we don't know if they have small boat building knowledge (though the cultures they're loosely based off did) which would be a way to figure out how they could develop a proper navy.
     

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