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Crab Clan Newbie Introduction

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My only beef is the short-shrift given to the Wall.

It was built in the 8th Century thanks to the valiant sacrifice of Kuni Osaku. The earlier wall, built further into the Shadowlands, fell during the Maw's assault which wiped out the Hiruma lands. To me, that's one of the best stories that exemplify the Crab: an assault which devastated them, cost them so much, but they had to sacrifice and keep going with no time to stop, mourn, or bemoan their losses.

But, as you mention, it is for newbies and I'm a little past that, haha. Thanks for sharing! It is a great primer.

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2 hours ago, Black_Rabbit_Inle said:

Hnh..  I thought the Crab created the Carpenter wall because the returning Unicorn clan plowed through all of the defenses without so much as slowing down.

The first Carpenter Wall was built by order of Hantei the First. It was destroyed by the Army of the Maw. The Maw was held at bay by Kuni Osaku, who created a wall of water powered by her own lifeforce, for 73 days - during that time a new wall was built which could not be overcome by the Maw's army, allowing the Crab to defeat it and kill the Maw.

The return of the Ki-Rin happened 100 years later. They arrived from the south, through the Shadowlands, and were repelled by the Crab defenders on the Wall. They the made their way along the Wall to its very end, where they were met by a massive Crab army: that army, entirely infantry-based, had never encountered or fought cavalry before and was completely unprepared for it. That's how the Unicorn smashed through their defenses - they didn't breach the Wall, they steamrolled the Crab legions between them and the Empire.

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On 3/25/2019 at 9:00 PM, nameless ronin said:

That's how the Unicorn smashed through their defenses - they didn't breach the Wall, they steamrolled the Crab legions between them and the Empire.

And, in fairness, pretty much everyone else afterwards. Heavy Cavalry is murder on someone who's never seen it before and has no idea how to engage it. 

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I have a little bit of beef with the 'fail' in this bit: "The historical Great Wall was a bit like the the Roman Hadrian's Wall in that the assumed function (keeping out hordes of enemies) was something it generally failed at mainly because the old military adage of 'defend everything and you defend nothing' and opponents could overwhelm local forces and get past." 

The very layout of Hadrian's Wall and the reinforcing forts some depth behind it suggests that the purpose was never to be a hard stop for an invading army. It was to delay and to channel - allowing troops in depth to mass and contain the invasion. So you are right in that the Great Wall and Hadrian's Wall could not 'keep out hordes of enemies' - but I' put forth that for Hadrian's Wall at least the intent was never that simple. 

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22 minutes ago, Derk_g said:

I have a little bit of beef with the 'fail' in this bit: "The historical Great Wall was a bit like the the Roman Hadrian's Wall in that the assumed function (keeping out hordes of enemies) was something it generally failed at mainly because the old military adage of 'defend everything and you defend nothing' and opponents could overwhelm local forces and get past." 

The very layout of Hadrian's Wall and the reinforcing forts some depth behind it suggests that the purpose was never to be a hard stop for an invading army. It was to delay and to channel - allowing troops in depth to mass and contain the invasion. So you are right in that the Great Wall and Hadrian's Wall could not 'keep out hordes of enemies' - but I' put forth that for Hadrian's Wall at least the intent was never that simple. 

There's also the theory that it was used to make sure merchants paid proper taxes on things entering or leaving the Empire.

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15 minutes ago, Tonbo Karasu said:

There's also the theory that it was used to make sure merchants paid proper taxes on things entering or leaving the Empire.

I assume that applies to the Great Wall? because I do not believe Hadrian's Wall would ever have paid itself off that way ;)

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4 hours ago, Derk_g said:

I have a little bit of beef with the 'fail' in this bit: "The historical Great Wall was a bit like the the Roman Hadrian's Wall in that the assumed function (keeping out hordes of enemies) was something it generally failed at mainly because the old military adage of 'defend everything and you defend nothing' and opponents could overwhelm local forces and get past." 

The very layout of Hadrian's Wall and the reinforcing forts some depth behind it suggests that the purpose was never to be a hard stop for an invading army. It was to delay and to channel - allowing troops in depth to mass and contain the invasion. So you are right in that the Great Wall and Hadrian's Wall could not 'keep out hordes of enemies' - but I' put forth that for Hadrian's Wall at least the intent was never that simple. 

The Carpenter Wall is a much bigger and stronger fortification than Hadrian's Wall, and manned by a lot more troops as well. Which is a good thing, because Hadrian's Wall certainly wouldn't fare well against armies of Oni, trolls, ogres, goblins, dark Moto and other assorted tainted monstrosities. The Carpenter Wall also didn't "generally fail" at keeping out hordes of enemies. It was only breached a handful of times since the first one was built, which is pretty darn impressive if you take into account what it's up against and how long it's been standing. Small mobs and individual Oni occasionally slip past, yes, but not hordes of enemies.

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Note that the Great Wall (of China) was ALSO not intended to keep enemies out - most of it wasn't even manned, because that would be ridiculously expensive. It's purpose seems to have been to make it harder to leave carrying loot, thereby discouraging looters in the first place.

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Quoting from Shadowlands - which just landed on my doorstep today - on the Curtain Walls:

"Rokugani generally imagine these massive walls being constantly lined with Crab troops; they likewise believe that , should a curtain wall ever be breached, the Empire would be in imminent peril of being overrun.

This is not true, however. While the Crab do, indeed, make a determined effort to hold the threatened sections of the curtain wall, they know that a single, linear defence is simply too fragile to be reliable. Accordingly the main purpose of the curtain wall is to delay attackers, giving the Crab time to marshal and maneuver forces behind the Wall, ..."

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