Best Herds of the Veld

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    • Best Herds of the Veld

      EDIT by Calisson:
      Link to the Homebrew Ary Book found here: Best Herds of the Veld


      (© picture Bradshaw Foundation, « San rock art reflecting Bushman mythology »)

      « As the Ancestors told us, we once were men.
      Living in the open savannah, in harmony with nature.
      Hunting with arrows, spears, tips made of stone.
      Shelters made of wood.
      A nation always on the move.
      We knew the ways of the Veld.
      We knew the magic paths and tricks.
      We knew how to approach our prey unfelt.
      Never taking more than needed.

      Then the other people came.
      With cattle, with iron.
      Carrying seeds in earthen pots.
      Spreading their ways.
      Out of the West they came,
      Out of the Forest they came.
      Protected by the spirits of the fiercest animals.
      The cheetah, the lion, the elephant, the rhinoceros
      Were their forebears.
      And we were left naked.

      !Kau was he who rose.
      !Kau was the one who called all the Sākho'en.
      Under the moon of Tsai'Guab they bathed.
      In the great lake in the middle of the Rift.
      The great lake that the Rift opened.
      The holy lake whose waters shine green.
      The lake where the voices are so strong.
      That lake that used to be called Nam Lolwe.
      The name of Go-Garib they summoned.
      Go-Garib, the Beast on the edge of the Abyss.

      Thus we did, under the moon in the holy lake.
      Under the stare of the Great Apes who watch there.
      We became the beasts that we once hunted.
      We became the beasts that were hunted.
      We, hunters, became the hunted.
      And thus the hunted became the hunter. »

      – Song of !Kau, as sung by the Soothsayers of the Wild Beasts of the Veld (transcript by Erik Tombstone, missionary and Taphrian explorer)

      @Calisson @Karak Norn Clansman
      Got inspired today reading Unesco's A General History of Africa, Volume 2, Early History of Eastern Africa ;)

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      The post was edited 3 times, last by Ghiznuk ().

    • Hey guys,
      So this is the opening thread for our next Taphrian army, as part of the project « It's time for Africa ! ».

      This army is intended to be the African Beast Herds army.

      They mythology I wrote here above is intended to reflect how the native, primitive hunter-gatherers of Eastern and Southern Africa could have felt/reacted in the face of the Bantu « colonization » in the first millenium of our history.

      In our world where magic does not (officially) exist, those people were mostly assimilated into the new farmers/herders culture. They remain only in small scattered pockets here and there (various ultraminority ethnicities in Tanzania / Kenya) or in areas totally unsuited for the Bantu way of life (Kalahari desert).

      But what if magic had allowed them to transform and resist ?

      That's the basic concept here.
      Drawing very loosely on Khoikhoi mythology and names.

      Now, the current Beast Herds army I think is already pretty close to what we want to achieve.
      Except our Best-men have Wildebeest, Buffalo and Antilope heads instead of Goats and Bulls.

      But a few units and rules of the standard Beast Herds army are definitely forest-oriented.
      The obvious Strider (Forest), but also stuff such as the Briar Beast coming out of a forest, or the Giant taken trees to fight.
      Also, I'm not sure that the Taphrian Beasts have access to beer ;)

      So, let's brainstorm a bit ? ^^

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    • The Oasis of tears, home of the desert Beast herds (Background for my BH army)
      Despite it is a personnal idea that perhaps cannot match with official background, it can give some ideas.
      It is just a start, but the Egyptians mythology is all about beast(men) :)
      Advantage here is that you can pick in an existing range of miniatures (crocodile games) and have many choices in the beasts
    • Exactly, but no.

      My concept of Taphrian Beast Herds are transformed Bushmen.
      Bushmen don't practice any form of agriculture at all.
      The reason why our Beast Herds became Beasts is exactly this, that they saw that as the only solution to preserve their hunter-gatherers, nomadic traditions, in the face of more technologically advanced Iron Age herders / farmers (the Vanhu).
      No agriculture means no cereals, means no beer.
      Likewise, they don't even have the technology to brew beer anyway (such as advanced pottery).

      Also, talking about the variety of beasts, we are rather limited.
      – Gnolls (Hyena-men) are part of the Vermin Anteater army.
      – Lion-men are Vanhu Shapeshifter
      – Crocodiles are … well, Ancient Saurians
      – Monkeys also already have their own army, the Mukumbusu Wrestling Apes.

      So what is left for Beast Herds is specifically Wildebeest, Buffalo, Antilopes, and so on.
      Note that we paid special attention to this while designing Vanhu, exactly so that the Vanhu would not have any ancestral spirit and related Shapeshifter that would overlap with the Beast Herds.

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    • Ghiznuk wrote:

      So what is left for Beast Herds is specifically Wildebeest, Buffalo, Antilopes, and so on.

      Note that we paid special attention to this while designing Vanhu, exactly so that the Vanhu would not have any ancestral spirit and related Shapeshifter that would overlap with the Beast Herds.
      :sweat: T'was hard enough to fend off attempts to incorporate them in the Vanhu.

      Indeed, from older relevant conversations:

      Calisson wrote:

      :thinking: About animals not to take, we could exploit the following fluff idea:
      in the legendary past, there were more ancestor spirits and related populations living in Vanhu,
      but the herd animals merged with the related humans, and became the BH; they migrated away and are no longer part of Vanhu;
      the hyena animals merged with the related humans, and became the VS gnoll creatures; they migrated away as well;
      those ancestor spirits remaining are Lion, Cheetah etc.

      This would give a common thread between Vanhu, the BH Taphrian faction and the VS Taphrian faction. Good material for us to explore in the future AB, where we would give the BH and VS version of how they had to leave their mother country.
      It fits also the RL idea of Bantu migration across Africa.

      This would mean to remove all Herd related animals, i.e. Buffalo, Wildebeest, Gazelle; and also to remove Hyenas.
      In the future, we will be glad we did remove them.

      We could also remove Elephants and Rhinos, as they have been included with Koghi. Still, Koghi does not consider them as ancestors, so we could also keep them.
      And also:

      Calisson wrote:

      Beasts tribes of the savannah

      BG in T9A material
      No mention anywhere of Beasts in Taphria, so we can assume that they are well hidden. They have no city in Vetia either.
      Shamanic rituals lie at the heart of their culture; their soothsayers are venerated above all others…

      BG in RL and legendary material
      Kenya/Tanzania savannah, N’Gorongoro Crater and Okavango Delta.
      Kingdom of Luba and Lunda.

      Pretty much the whole AB can be used, except centaurs and probably most monsters.
      Warthogs replace hogs. Monsters can be replaced with elephants, buffalos and rhinos.
      All infantry could be made a bit more savage and dangerous than their Vetian counterparts.

      Additionally, from 9th Scroll #5

      How intelligent are the Beast Herds? Are they purely driven by primal instincts or is there a grander plan for their herds? Are minotaurs just big wildhorns, or do they have their own tribes and agendas?
      In the current day, the herds are found on every continent, and contest those lands with their other inhabitants. The herds are diverse in culture and appearance across the world. Of the two general types of herds, the warherds are led by bestial chieftains. They are autocratic but prone to leadership challenges - sometimes resulting in the death of chief or challenger. Leaders gain favour if they demonstrate martial prowess and accumulate great stories told about them.
      While minotaurs sometimes have their own tribes, most times they are found living in and with the other beasts of the herds. Like all tribal peoples, individual tribes have their own goals, agendas, and concerns. The question of the intelligence of beast-men is a harder one to address, for while the beasts all have similar intellect to humans, their behaviours are governed by their nature differently than that of human people. Beast-men are quicker to violence than humans, and less likely to use missiles because of reasons of biology more than any condition of intellect. That said, it would be a mistake to disregard them as mere creatures of instinct, the beasts and their leaders are very cunning and discerning.
      from 9th Scroll #9:

      It is said that wherever a human explorer goes in this world, a beast has been already. Even in this great ninth age of humanity, the herds can be found around the world in all their dizzying diversity and savagery. Even in Vetia, they have not been entirely stamped out, with small bands still encountered in the wild parts of the great nations. Because they are cheap and deniable, many are still employed by statesmen as mercenaries - despite the risk to reputation, and knowing full well that the horned ones’ untamed nature makes them a double edged sword once unleashed. Tales of much larger forces gathering in the eastern bogs are known to all. Claims of titanic herds of untold numbers roaming the uncharted regions of Taphria or Silexia are less easily verified.

      What I retain from this introduction can lead us to interesting exploration:

      Title: The Beast (Beest?) Herds from the Veld.
      Do we keep some kind of Africaner title? Beest, Veld...
      Or do we go for some kind of Khoisan imitation?
      For example, using basic words such as person-buffalo, you could come up with such fancy words as ʼúnù-nákʼóma, khoe-ǀâo, ʒú-ǀàò, tâa-ǀqhái...

      Fluffwise, I like a lot the idea that they were the ones who refused the evolution towards agriculture, and kept intact the traditions of hunter-gatherer (focusing on the gatherer side).
      They live in desert, sparse forest, savannah, hilly plateaus, inner deltas, marshes...
      They assemble in immense hordes, which keep nomadizing across wide paths of land.
      They could be the herders of feral cattle, which they don't eat, they just protect.
      They resist modernity. Do they even have any chariot?
      They use magic, force and number to resist all the invaders.
      And they are worried that in addition to the traditional enmity against the Vanhu who kill animals, there are recent invaders with white skin and firearms and respect nothing - and don't understand their language with clicks, and pretend that the land is empty for them to colonize.

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    • I was thinking about the clicks.
      Probably the clicks have been replaced by groans in the process of beastification :)

      Those Herds could actually live everywhere in Taphria, not just in the Veld. They would just be more numerous in the Veld.
      It could be a place that Vanhu tend to avoid. At the same time as offering an exciting wide « empty land » for Imperial settlers.

      I'm happy with Khoisan words, as long as unit names are intelligible and those words are kept in the fluff under the unit entry.
      « Beest » herds ? why not… not really convinced, though :D

      I don't think Chariot. Let's apply the same principle that we took for the Vermin Anteaters : less constructs, more beasts.
      They could have more spears and more (poisoned) bows, as those are the traditional weapons of the Khoisan.

      I would have them hunt. They are carnivorous.
      Have them herding cattle, means they could as well have kept their humanity and let Vanhu culture assimilate them.
      (Note : some Vanhu clans could be assimilated ex-Khoisan groups, who speak and behave like normal Vanhu people but at the same time have retained some hunter-gatherer traditions, institutions or other quirks)

      Got the idea that since they don't use metal (contrary to the Vetian Herds), they could consider obsidian stone resource sites as strategic hotspots worth fighting for. Just looking for a reason for them to fight other people ;)

      Oh, and they do love their rock-paintings, even more than Vetian Herds love their statues.

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    • This is a marvellous concept, @Ghiznuk! Matched by a quality introduction post. I've been pondering how Bantu migration history could translate to fantasy, and this native response to the iron-wielding conquerors is top-notch historical resonance in fantasy: Become the beast.

      Beastmen is the Warhammer faction I've least of all read up on and tinkered with in story concepts, so I'll probably have to listen in on this brainstorming from the sidelines and take notes.


      Happy birthday in advance. :D

      Reference images:

    • Was thinking – this army should include African Wild Dogs, the animal we call in French « Lycaon ».
      I've been fascinated by them since childhood.
      They could be same as standard dogs from the BH army, but instead of Guide they are faster, get Pack Tactics and Vanguard.

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    • A bit of pre-history.

      sources and interpretation

      While reading the World Hymn and Spacecoyote's Unofficial Guide to The 9th Age Fluff: A Timeline!,
      I realized that Beasts dominated the Third Age (along with Orcs) and were still prevalent during the Fourth and Sixth Ages.
      The 4th and 6th Ages can easily be explained by remnants from the 3rd. But where did the Beasts from the 3rd Age come from? And what is the link with the Beasts in Taphria, if any?
      This is what I try to speculate about hereafter.

      I will now concentrate on the oldest times.
      In the 2nd Age, Dwarves controlled the Mountains of the Moon as their main hold, were strong in Taphria and were dominant in Vetia (leaving room for Men and SE). No mention of Beasts, which means that they were below noticeable size in Vetia.
      Also, Naptaan Kingdoms were formed during the 2nd Age, and ruled most of the Middle Sea, preventing any movement of warlike tribes across it. I understand that Naptaan split the Dwarves between those living in Vetia and those living in Taphria.

      Then, 3rd Age starts with Beasts ravaging everyone. Where do they come from?
      Simultaneously, Naptaan falls to internal treason, and becomes UD.

      This last even may be the solution allowing briefly Beasts to invade Vetia, coming from Taphria.
      At the time, the Great Desert may not have been Desert yet (like Sahara which was green a few millennia ago), it would become sandy desert only after the Naptaans would have been cursed.

      The scenario would be:
      During 2nd Age, Beasts populate most of Taphria, including the future Great Desert, green at that time.
      Dwarves control the Mountains of the Moon in the east.
      Naptaan kingdoms rise and control the northern shores of Taphria.
      SA live in the deep forests, still paralyzed by their recent civilization destruction at the end of the 1st Age.

      Suddenly, Naptaan collapses because of Setesh and the ensuing civil war and curse.
      Within few years, the Great Desert ceases to be green and starts to become a desert.
      Forced to migrate and having a sudden gate opening in the north-east, many hordes of Beasts rush north-east, where there is no more Naptaan and not yet UD to stop them. At that time, there is no ID neither to block them, and Avras is not built.
      With nobody stopping them, they invade Vetia where they cause havoc.

      The minority of BH remaining in Taphria, who were the most attached to their ancestral's lands, have to leave the now desertic Great Desert. They don't settle neither in the Dwarven mountains nor in the Saurian's rainforest, but move south in-between.
      They are now mostly found in the plains and moderate hills in south Taphria.

      Never again would BH from Taphria leave that continent, the branches are now separated forever.

      The events related in post #1 above would have happened in the early 9th Age, which is still many centuries ago, but the oral memories would not recall much beyond anyway.
      This is when Taphrian BH would feel the pressure from colonizers.
      However, this time, they are trapped, blocked in all directions either by the sea or by stronger civilizations. They have to face the invaders or die.

      With this scenario, BH would share a similar biology with their Vetian counterparts (except antelope instead of goat, buffalo instead of bull etc...), but they would not have undergone similar technical progress: no chariot, no beer...

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    • @Calisson, I appreciate your contribution but find it really far-fetched.
      Also, I'm sure the BG team has already a decent explanation on where the Beast Herds come from. I'm not sure that your story fits in.

      Also, in the story in post 1, I'm talking of a human people who became beasts through a magical ritual, in the beginning of the Ninth Age. So they can't be linked to the Beasts of the Third Age.

      @Giladis since you're back, could we have any hint at where the Vetian Beast Herds came from, to ensure we don't start making up too many things here ? :)

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    • Well, between what Taphrian BH are,
      what they believe to be,
      what others believe them to be,
      there is room for all kind of explanations.

      The idea of humans becoming BH through a ritual happens not to match BGT ideas.
      And guess what? The idea of Vetian BH and Taphrian BH sharing same ancestors does not match either BGT ideas.
      But this is not a problem: no matter actual truth, it may be what everyone believes to be true.

      Now that I have read the internal, hidden wiki, I would keep the ideas of post 1 and 11, but those would be bits of legends, nothing more.

      Actually we could find a third legend, and it would be as legitimate as the others.

      What will remain in all legends is that the Taphrian BH live in stone age, they are cornered by invaders and have been recently declining - but now their time is coming.

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    • Musing about Taphrian BH.
      I like that they have several legends telling where they come from, and that these legends are not compatible with each other.
      Humans becoming BH? Cattle becoming BH? Same origins as Vetian BH? Totally disctinct origin? Let's keep all of these theories as equally valid! :S :largegrin:
      I mean, they have the mentality of the Herd, they live in present time, all stories about the past are just stories designed to make the present time more enjoyable. They don't care the slightest about truth or lie, they care only about being alive today.

      Other idea.
      What is important for them is the Herd. They make no difference between the herd of Antelopes, Buffaloes, Wildebeests and Gazelles, and their own people. They are the guardians of the Herd. They are the Herd. They are the eternal present-time, and they help to keep it eternal.
      They are extremely conservative. They fight off intruders, any threat to the Herd.
      They own nothing, because the Herd is always on the move. Their only belonging is the Herd, because they are with the Herd, they are the Herd.

      This may translate into a rule, typically BH:
      Herd Ambush.
      Fluff: A herd of wild animals was on the move, in front of the regiment. An immense herd, mixing buffaloes, antelopes and wildebeests. Soon, a gigantic cloud of dust enveloped the herd, and only the closest animals were to be seen anymore. It was only when the last animal disappeared that we realized: they were here. They were hiding among the animals. And they were charging us, from the dust.
      Rule: After deployment, draw a 12" wide track from BH deployment zone to a side of the table excluding the opponent's deployment zone. Ambushing troops may be deployed inside that track, at more than 12" from any opponent's troop. They may charge in the first turn of the game.

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    • New idea for the Beest Herds of the Veld, inspired from actual San technique.

      Persistence hunting: Universal Rule.
      Units with this rule have their Charge Phase moved immediately after the Movement Phase, instead of before. However, units that have Marched or Reformed this Player Turn cannot declare a Charge.
      Slower than most game on short distances, Beests have developed a hunting technique over long distances, tracking their prey until it is exhausted.

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    • And here is the long due Homebrew Supplement! :largegrin:

      The fluff is well developed.
      The rules are hardly different from BH, except loss of chariots and gain of easier charges and few minor details.

      Probably there could be more work on the units and special objects.
      Please participate! :)


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