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Marwynn

Winterscale or Chorda?

44 posts in this topic

My group performed a hit on one of Winterscale's bannermen so he challenged out Voidmaster to a duel because he had struck the killing blow, subsequently Winterscale killed him and forced him to burn a fate point. Long story short the voidmaster was resucitated because of a stasis device hidden in the body bag that kept the corpse fresh long enough to revive him but yeah my group wont be friendly with Winterscale ever. We'll see what happens with Chorda, I don't want to say anymore because I know some of them occasionally lurk here.

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Currently privateering Winterscale for Chorda (lesser endeavour) while simultaneously looking for Chorda's stasis casketed kin for a as yet unknown third party (Grand endeavour).

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Winterscale and Chorda are both pawns in the long game.  Agents are in place in both dynasties, the hook has been baited and the plan is almost ready to be put into motion.

 

... I like when half of my group plays Crusader Kings and thinks in terms of infiltration, dynastic subversion, and manipulation.  Then it's not just the Seneschal playing Xanatos Speed Chess, but everyone being cooperative Magnificient Bastards- even the players who don't go in for uber-strat games get into the spirit of things!

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They tried to play both groups off of each other - like they do with every single group they have ever run into - but didn't quite realise that I was relentless in scaling them to be region-conquering Rogue Traders who massively outclassed them, and weren't stupid enough to risk their entire powerbase accepting a one-on-one challenge from some new arrogant upstart.

 

They then enraged an Orkish warband, pointed it at Winterscale's Realm and waited. Unfortunately, since Chorda relied on lightly armed fast-attack ships she couldn't hold her territory as well, and neither force was willing to commit to the battle since it would weaken their forces used to hold off the others it was a gradual battle of attrition, that Chorda just up and abandoned rather than watch her forces slowly grind away. Unfortunately, Winterscale took control of most of Chorda's forces and is now the dominant, unchallenged force in the Expanse.

 

So by default, they'd side with Chorda because they are really quickly learning that the old stalemate was preferable to what's happening now.

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My group has not run into either of those Dynasties nor their heads yet so we don't have an opinion IC. OC, I think the deck is stacked a bit in Winterscale's favor if only ever so slightly. A: Winterscale has the reputation of being THE dynasty in the Expanse, in so much as there can be a leading dynasty. 2: Of the RTs listed in the various books, Trask is said to specifically avoid conflict with Winterscale. I read this as to mean that if a full blow RT "civil war" occured Chorda is automatically down 1 named NPC ally. $: While both the current holders of their respective warrants came to hold it by dubious means, Chorda is more vunerable to an internal dynastic war. If you were to find one of her 5 siblings you could have a lot of fun. That sibling would have a legal claim to the warrant, especially if it is one of her older siblings since Aspyce Chorda was 3 of 6.

 

How I would play it out if it were up to me is to find a sibling and back them to get the warrant from Aspyce. I'm sure the fastest way is to capture and force Aspyce to give up the Chorda warrant or outright kill her. Then you have a new RT that ought to be very well disposed towards you. And even if they aren't, they are in your debt. Remember Rule of Acquisition #111: Treat people in your debt like family... exploit them. 

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How I would play it out if it were up to me is to find a sibling and back them to get the warrant from Aspyce. I'm sure the fastest way is to capture and force Aspyce to give up the Chorda warrant or outright kill her. Then you have a new RT that ought to be very well disposed towards you. And even if they aren't, they are in your debt. Remember Rule of Acquisition #111: Treat people in your debt like family... exploit them. 

 

Yeah, but once a Rogue Trader has a Warrant, they can always just ignore their debts and claim that person is dead. Also just because Chorda loses her Warrant doesn't mean all her forces are instantly or calmly going to transition over to the "new" Trader. She could stall, claim that's not actually her relative, that the Warrant doesn't specify an automatic transfer. Even if all that is overcome she still has a lot of personal holdings that don't automatically shift over to the new Warrant holder meaning there could be a civil war. 

 

And even if that all does go well, keep in mind that Winterscale's ambitions are only being held in check right now by the stalemate forced on him by Aspyce Chorda. If she's not in power, he could claim Lucin's Breath for himself, and just start going on a rampage of control and domination.

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Kinda what I'm afraid of. The two are capable of truly dominating the Expanse, at least the way my GM and I have talked about the two. 

 

Has anyone assigned vague numbers to the number of ships they have, their relative PFs, and contacts? Because I think we're gonna have a war over the space hulk. 

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How I would play it out if it were up to me is to find a sibling and back them to get the warrant from Aspyce. I'm sure the fastest way is to capture and force Aspyce to give up the Chorda warrant or outright kill her. Then you have a new RT that ought to be very well disposed towards you. And even if they aren't, they are in your debt. Remember Rule of Acquisition #111: Treat people in your debt like family... exploit them. 

 

Yeah, but once a Rogue Trader has a Warrant, they can always just ignore their debts and claim that person is dead. Also just because Chorda loses her Warrant doesn't mean all her forces are instantly or calmly going to transition over to the "new" Trader. She could stall, claim that's not actually her relative, that the Warrant doesn't specify an automatic transfer. Even if all that is overcome she still has a lot of personal holdings that don't automatically shift over to the new Warrant holder meaning there could be a civil war. 

 

And even if that all does go well, keep in mind that Winterscale's ambitions are only being held in check right now by the stalemate forced on him by Aspyce Chorda. If she's not in power, he could claim Lucin's Breath for himself, and just start going on a rampage of control and domination.

 

 

Good points. But it would make for a fun ride I think, no matter the outcome. A Chorda Warrant War as it were. It would weaken the Chorda dynasty in any case. If your group has the means they could fill the void and in effect replace Chorda as one of the bigger dogs on the block to keep Winterscale in check.

 

Alternatively, team up with Winterscale and party like its 999 M2 all over again. The Expanse won't know what hit it.

 

Slight side track. Just how much PF are Winterscale and Chorda supposed to have? Is there any reference or is it as much as the GM decides they need?

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Chorda is in Edge of the Abyss. PF 82. Edit: And Winterscale has PF 101. 

 

(Incidentally, Edge of the Abyss also has the Rogue Trader Jonquin Saul, with PF 93. He seems like a good choice if a smaller Dynasty wants a powerful ally.)

Edited by Iku Rex

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Kinda what I'm afraid of. The two are capable of truly dominating the Expanse, at least the way my GM and I have talked about the two. 

 

Has anyone assigned vague numbers to the number of ships they have, their relative PFs, and contacts? Because I think we're gonna have a war over the space hulk. 

 

This sort of answers my own question above but I looked through the Core book quick and found that Legendary RTs have a PF of 100. Which seems low honestly. That's like 5 colonies worth. Granted the table on Pg 270 was made eons before Stars of Inequity and colonies were a thing.

 

For reference, my RT group has only been active 4200 real time in game days (I keep track cause it makes me happy) and we went from 20 PF to 90 PF. That is broken down to 55 PF from endeavors and 35 from 2 colonies, 1 of which is still growing. So PF 100 for Legendary (which I would assume well established dynasties like Winterscale would be) is sort of weak. 

 

But I'd say that both dynasties have lots of lots of ships, men, material, etc at their disposal. Winterscale even once had a BATTLESHIP (how much does it cost to run one of those?!) which was lost in a warp storm  about 400 years ago(Epoch Koronus pg 6). While I don't think the current Winterscale fleet has a battleship, they probably have a good chunk of cruisers. BCs and GCs would not be beyond either group but it doesn't seem to be Chorda's style.

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Yeah, they are outline in Edge.

 

Winterscale has PF 101.  His fleet has proportionately more ships of the linem including "multiple cruisers," and his flagship is a grand cruiser.

 

Chorda has PF 81.  Her mercantile fleet is probably the largest in the Expanse, rivalling Winterscale's fleet in the number of hulls and firepower.  She has fewer capital ships and a preponderance of frigates and raiders, though most are converted to merchant operations.

 

Jonquin Saul has PF 93.  His fleet is almost entirely merhcantmen.  He hires his firepower in the form of mercenaries and other Rogue Traders.

 

If I were to hazard a guess, and I would, I'd keep in mind some of the things we've talked about on these forums.  With a PF of 101 Winterscale can have 10 ships that aren't currently "working ships", and Chorda would have 8.  If Winterscale has "multiple cruisers" I'd give him 3-4 on top of that grand cruiser of his and flesh that squadron out with escorts.  He'd still have light cruisers and smaller in abdundance, along with mass conveyors and factory ships, and don't forget waystations and larger, probably all totaling something approaching his PF.

 

To put this is Terran perspective, the British Navy in the pre-Napoleonic era had 25k-30k ships is the merchant navy.  There were numbers approaching 100 ships-of-the-line and a similar number of frigates.  Wartime might increase these numbers a bit, but only during time of extended war.  For example, during the Napoleonic Wars, England slowly built up its navy to over 150 ships-of-the-line, but some of them were only nominally warships, being converted merchantmen with lots of cannon loaded on board.  At most there might have been 120 SOL that were purpose-built.  Post, patrol, and escort ships varied even more, from barely a hundred during peace time to several hundred in wartime.  I've used this era as a reference given that BFG is a "converted" sailing ship game.  These numbers would be much smaller if considered during the time of the Spanish Armada.

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Lady Kataline, your colonies sound like hives or nearly hive.  There's nothing wrong with hives, nor owning and governing hives, but that does skew the colony average for PF.  The group I am running has over 20 colonies and the average is probably closer to 5 PF, though they have an enormous PF (120ish).

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Lady Kataline, your colonies sound like hives or nearly hive.  There's nothing wrong with hives, nor owning and governing hives, but that does skew the colony average for PF.  The group I am running has over 20 colonies and the average is probably closer to 5 PF, though they have an enormous PF (120ish).

 

Thanks for posting up the PFs for everyone. You beat me to it while I was updating my personal records. And yes, we have hives as it just makes it easier to manage if only 1 colony is growing at a time.

 

Are any other RTs in the other books given PFs? Bastille, Fel, Feckward, etc?

 

Edit: Just as I ask/post I see where they are in LotE...

 

Edit 2: Feckward doesn't seem to have a PF given.

Edited by Lady Kataline Jianwei

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Armangarde 50, Trask 52...

 

Other Rogue Traders mentioned in various FFG books and supplements, some detailed, but no PFs...

 

Hadarak Fel, Madam Charlabelle, Djanko Scourge, Abel Gerrit, Lady Sun Lee, Jeremiah Blitz, Lord Admiral Bastille VII, Morthus Whitehold, Krawkin Feckward, Lady Elizabeth Orleans, Naj Amardi, Castigar Aciris, Thran Fin, Hope Lathimon, Solomon Haarlock, Tanak Valcetti, Soldon Vex, Wrath Umboldt...

 

There might be more, but that's the list I've kept while running these past 3 campaigns.  If I run into something new, I try to update my list, but something might have escaped me.

Edited by Errant Knight

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I keep the profit factors from the book, but I have given them massive fleets. Winterscale's Realm is spread over dozens of well-explored and colonized systems, and both Traders are meant to have fleets large enough to actually wage war for them and defend their own territory. I kept the theory of Chorda leaning towards Frigate/Raiders and Winterscale tending towards heavy capital ships. Based on the idea of Winterscale's Realm comprising about 50 colonized systems (including the Egarian digs and various other systems).

 

I gave Winterscale 25 capital ships (3 of which are BCs and 2 are GCs) each paired with on average 2 support vessels (Frigates or Raiders, and he absolutely hates Light Cruisers for a random reason) for a fleet of 75.

 

For Chorda's fleet I gave her more ships, but fewer capital class. She had 5 Cruisers, 25 Light Cruisers and 90 Frigates/Raiders for a fleet of 120.

 

Chorda's could muster more individual ships, but rarely could win in a straight fight. Also they had to defend their territory from Xenos, Chaos and other Rogue Traders, so they had alliances with lesser traders and a large number of SDF ships, but still rarely brought more than 15% of their fleet to a single engagement.

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Wow, that's pretty generous.  Let's see here.

 

I agree that Winterscale would have approx. 50 colonized systems, and probably in excess of 200 colonies spread through those systems.  I'd give him 100 ships, of which 1 would be his grand cruiser, 3 would be cruisers, 6 would be escorts, and 90 would be various sort of merchants and raiders, all working on various endeavors.  He probably has a dozen Wayfarer stations, too, and maybe some that are larger.  He would probably have an equal number of ships working for him: chartist captains, mercenaries, privateers, outright priates, other rogue traders, maybe even xenos.

 

I'd put Chorda at around 100 ships, also, but her battle fleet would be much smaller, probably her cruiser, a couple light cruisers, and 5 escorts.  The remainder would be mostly frigates, destroyers, and raiders, though there would still be some merchant vessels.  Her "empire" would probably touch as many, if not more systems, than Winterscale's, but instead of colonies she'd have trade stations.  A lot of her business in the Expanse would be "extralegal."  According to the sources, much of her wealth is still tied up in other sectors and endeavors, so her overall wealth in the Expanse would not rival Winterscale's at all.  Also, she'd have as many "hireling" vessels as ships in her presonal, private fleet.

 

Saul would be my spoiler.  He'd have nearly 100 vessels, too, and they'd all be merchants, every single one of them.  He hires his guns, which means that he has a higher profit margin.  So while the Big Two have the glory currently, Saul is catching up and passing them, hoping they will go to war with each other so that he can pick up the leavings.

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Wow, that's pretty generous.  Let's see here.

 

I agree that Winterscale would have approx. 50 colonized systems, and probably in excess of 200 colonies spread through those systems.  I'd give him 100 ships, of which 1 would be his grand cruiser, 3 would be cruisers, 6 would be escorts, and 90 would be various sort of merchants and raiders, all working on various endeavors.  He probably has a dozen Wayfarer stations, too, and maybe some that are larger.  He would probably have an equal number of ships working for him: chartist captains, mercenaries, privateers, outright priates, other rogue traders, maybe even xenos.

 

I'd put Chorda at around 100 ships, also, but her battle fleet would be much smaller, probably her cruiser, a couple light cruisers, and 5 escorts.  The remainder would be mostly frigates, destroyers, and raiders, though there would still be some merchant vessels.  Her "empire" would probably touch as many, if not more systems, than Winterscale's, but instead of colonies she'd have trade stations.  A lot of her business in the Expanse would be "extralegal."  According to the sources, much of her wealth is still tied up in other sectors and endeavors, so her overall wealth in the Expanse would not rival Winterscale's at all.  Also, she'd have as many "hireling" vessels as ships in her presonal, private fleet.

 

Saul would be my spoiler.  He'd have nearly 100 vessels, too, and they'd all be merchants, every single one of them.  He hires his guns, which means that he has a higher profit margin.  So while the Big Two have the glory currently, Saul is catching up and passing them, hoping they will go to war with each other so that he can pick up the leavings.

 

Given how my PCs treat ship acquisition, and that these two dynasties have been established for awhile I wanted them to actually be representably powerful opponents. Their fleets are composed of the Rogue Trader, Free Captain and Raider groups they have defeated and absorbed into their empires. They're not particularly loyal though, so how far they can be counted on is hard to say.

 

Transports I feel are actually quite plentiful, so I imagine Saul's fleet is even larger than that, but has the slight problem of not having as many available guns. He would likely be able to buy the loyalty of a large number of these fleets.

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Well, one, in the fluff Chorda's wealth is more in the Calyxis Sector than the expanse.  The simple way for winterscale to cripple her would be to make sure that her more 'interesting' sources of income came to the attention of the Inquisition.

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All this brings up some interesting questions of scale.  Here are the observations I've made.

 

The Koronus Expanse has somewhere between 100k-300k stars.  Of those, between 5k-20k should have at least a moon or space station inhabited by humans, if not a planet or three.  Most of them are undiscovered, or un-rediscovered.  Of those, between 1000-3000 are starfaring (or at least planet-faring).  They would need between 500-6000 merchantmen to service them.  Assuming averages, and that most are un-rediscovered, I settled on 2000-3000 merchant ships.

 

The great Indies companies of the 15th-19th centuries combined never accounted for more than 15% of gross world tonnage at their height, and far more often less than 5%.  Most of their carriers were privately contracted.

 

If Winterscale, Chorda, and Saul represent the great Indies companies of the Expanse, then combined they would have between 100-450 of those ships under their direct control.  I've went for a 300 ship model in the last campaign I ran.  I didn't bother with this stuff in the first two, but these questions had always nagged me.

 

Battlefleet Koronus seems to have 24-48 capital ships.  If the upper limit is assumed then three-quarters of them would be light cruisers, half toward the lower end.  GWs decision to go with the term "light cruiser" at all seems pointless to me, given that in the real world that was a legal definition based on a couple of aberrant early 20-century treaties that were short-lived and un-renewed, but what the heck.  If there are 2 escorts out there for every capital ship, the Battlefleet Koronus has 70-150 warships, which is very proportionately accurate with the real-world for the 2k-3k merchant ship model until very recent times.

 

I've gone with the lower end for the Imperial Navy in my campaign and made up the rest of the numbers with Rogue Traders.

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Wow, that's pretty generous.  Let's see here.

 

I agree that Winterscale would have approx. 50 colonized systems, and probably in excess of 200 colonies spread through those systems.  I'd give him 100 ships, of which 1 would be his grand cruiser, 3 would be cruisers, 6 would be escorts, and 90 would be various sort of merchants and raiders, all working on various endeavors.  He probably has a dozen Wayfarer stations, too, and maybe some that are larger.  He would probably have an equal number of ships working for him: chartist captains, mercenaries, privateers, outright priates, other rogue traders, maybe even xenos.

 

I'd put Chorda at around 100 ships, also, but her battle fleet would be much smaller, probably her cruiser, a couple light cruisers, and 5 escorts.  The remainder would be mostly frigates, destroyers, and raiders, though there would still be some merchant vessels.  Her "empire" would probably touch as many, if not more systems, than Winterscale's, but instead of colonies she'd have trade stations.  A lot of her business in the Expanse would be "extralegal."  According to the sources, much of her wealth is still tied up in other sectors and endeavors, so her overall wealth in the Expanse would not rival Winterscale's at all.  Also, she'd have as many "hireling" vessels as ships in her presonal, private fleet.

 

Saul would be my spoiler.  He'd have nearly 100 vessels, too, and they'd all be merchants, every single one of them.  He hires his guns, which means that he has a higher profit margin.  So while the Big Two have the glory currently, Saul is catching up and passing them, hoping they will go to war with each other so that he can pick up the leavings.

I like this number.  It should be noted that both parties have several lesser RT's, Free Captains, Guns-for-hire, etc. that work for them.  Winterscale is noted to having more with warships.  So, you could say Winterscale has anywhere between 10-20 RT's (with no names of importance), Free Captains, Guns-for-hire, etc. working for him.  On average, 2 line ships per powerful yet non-important NPC, so you have another 20 to 40 line ships that Winterscale could have deals with that help him "police" his realm(s).

 

Chorda could have a small bit less number of people, but with the smaller line ships like Frigates, Raiders, and such, the numbers are probably the same if not more.  Just food for thought.

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The Koronus Expanse has somewhere between 100k-300k stars.

More like 30 000 from what I could find.

(Based on the assumption that the Koronus Expanse is roughly the size of a typical sector, a 200 LY cube.)
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