Vanhu Kingdoms - PLAYTESTERS WELCOME

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    • Vanhu Kingdoms - PLAYTESTERS WELCOME

      EDIT: latest version of the Army Book to be found here: Vanhu Kingdoms - PLAYTESTERS WELCOME

      -=-=-

      This thread is designed for building a T9A army based in Vanhu Kingdoms of Cattle and Gold, mirroring (with some fantasy) the legendary Zulus and Masais and the forgotten city of Great Zimbabwe.
      It was initiated thanks to @Ghiznuk, in It's time for Africa !

      The goal here is not merely to find an exotic setting for models.
      What we want to achieve is to take inspiration from some of the most glorious or fascinating pages of the History of various African peoples, and realize from that a quality extension of T9A, which will give justice to the African continent and its cultures, too often forgotten in Fantasy games.

      This thread is created as the Vanhu AB is only a vision.
      This is where volunteers will combine efforts to make it happen.

      We will explore:
      - the background
      - the army rules: ASAW, Army Rules, Characters, Troops - Quick Summary,
      - possible models.

      Please participate!

      Social Media Team

      UN Coordinator, aka UNSG

      - druchii.net contribution: The 9th Age - Dread Elves
    • Background.
      Initial research in It's time for Africa !
      BG in T9A material

      The greatest of these are the Vanhu, a proud and resourceful nation led by the fierce King Nyatsimba - a rare military leader in a land where most power is held by witchdoctors. The ways of his people are ancient. They comprise traditional tribes as well as spiritual totem“families”. Those born under a particular totem are said to gain the power to converse with the corresponding animal upon their coming of age - I have witnessed the rituals myself. The Vanhu live in stone fortresses, and have established powerful alliances with nearby dwarves, saurians and even traders as far away as Sagarika and Celeda Ablan.

      Landmarks: Nation of Vanhu. City of Pfukumbu. Mountains of Gold.

      Note: there is an internal wiki here: Internal Background: The Kingdom of Vanhu
      A few personal notes

      Noted the similarity with the Great Zimbabwe civilization. Existence of rival kingdoms. Kingdoms raise and fall.
      Cattle is of great importance, essentially acting as a form of currency since everyone rears them. Elephants are mentioned.
      White settlers in the south start to become a nuisance.

      Noted that Vanhu's symbol is the phoenix, a small species of which is native to the area and is considered holy.
      Also, besides the dominant witchdoctors, another important figure is the imbongi: a bard or official storyteller of sorts. Reversely, military leaders are unusual.
      Vanhu are navigators, able to sail as far as Sagarikadesha.



      BG in African History and legends
      The inspiring region is made of high altitude, humid hilly plateaus bordering the Great Rift, which is partially filled with the Lakes.
      Pre-colonization populations have established the Fortress City of Great Zimbabwe in mountains, and also Ntusi and Bigo.
      Political models come from the Buganda kingdom near Victoria Lake.
      The armies are inspired from Bantu warriors from the Kingdom of Zululand, and Masai culture.
      The region is inhabited by dense villages.
      The agriculture is very productive (banana, sorghum). Cattle is paramount: wealth was measured in cattle heads. There are lots of wild animals. Iron ore, iron craftsmanship was well developed.
      Coastal trade was well established with India and Arabia. Great Zimbabwe controlled one of the most important sources of Arab gold, believed by foreigners to grow there in fields.
      There is some usable local folklore with Mamlambo: a deity in South African and Zulu mythology, the "goddess of rivers", described as a large snake-like creature.

      Ghiznuk wrote:
      The tree savannah of modern Zambezia and Zimbabwe had been long occupied by various tribes of cattle herders and agriculturers, but who never established any State and remained very primitive iron age societies who knew pottery, tool making, smithing, jewelry, weaving, but not much else. The human density remained very low.
      In the 10thcentury, a more elaborate culture started to form, where villages were more organized around a central cattle pen and where established leaders had bigger and more solid houses, built above those of the commoners if there was a slope, and who were able to carve hills in terraces.

      Around the year 1300, an actual State was established for the first time in that region, around Great Zimbabwe.

      Some say (the « religious hypothesis ») the Shona came from another country, introduced advanced mining techniques and brought their own ancestors cult for whom they built shrines. They were able to create a confederation of different tribes who had to pay them tribute in gold and ivory, that they then sold to the Arab traders on the coast. Central power was in the hands of chiefs and priests.

      Others say (the « commercial » hypothesis) that the State was established because of the intensification of trade. In Zimbabwe were found glass from Syria, pottery from Persia and China, many items of copper and gold from the local mines. The Arab trading city of Kilwa gained a lot of prosperity in that period. The great wealth of the rulers would have then led to a great distribution of wealth through ceremonies, sacrifices and public works, which would have in turn caused a greater concentration of people in one hub and the great labour force needed for the building of the Great Zimbabwe stone fortress.

      Whatever the truth, the region went through a higher level development in the 13thcentury thanks to trade and a higher concentration of political power. Human density rose tremendously in some parts of the country, agriculture was improved and done more intensively. The population lived in smaller semi-nomad villages who changed place with the generations and the rythms of agriculture and cattle herding. It is probable that around centres such as Great Zimbabwé, the land was fast depleted of natural ressources such as wood, grass and arable soil, just as it was with every young civilization. Those villages were mostly self-sufficient and were not concerned by trade.

      The dimensions of Great Zimbabwé are very impressive. The walls are 6 m wide and 7 m high. The site is divided between an « Acropolis » on top of the hill and a « Great Enclosure » in the valley below. Different buildings and enclosures are connected by other walls. In between the monuments were villages of simple houses. All in all though, the whole general architecture of the complex is directly inspired from that of the traditional villages of the region, except stone was used instead of clay. Other such stone constructions, though not as big, abound in the region (about 150), with also one to five enclosures. The only true mystery is the huge conical tower on one corner of the complex, that is a truly unique structure which can't be compared to anything. And, of course, its size.

      Great Zimbabwé was abandoned at the end of the 15th century. It is probable that around such a population centre that lacked urbanization technology, the land was fast depleted of natural ressources such as wood, grass and arable soil, just as it was with every young civilization (Maya, Sumer, Indus Valley, etc. all abandoned cities for ecological reasons ; see Mel Gibson's Apocalypto to get an idea of how first urban civilizations were struggling with that new way of life)

      The kings of Zimbabwe probably had a monopoly on foreign trade, because of their position in a society which is still a traditional one. It was also profitable for foreign traders to support the ruler in that rôle of « chief merchant » as it enusured a better security and more stability. The gold mines were probably under the exclusive control of the king, too. There was probably no permanent Arab neighbourhood in the town, and trade activity must have been seasonal.

      The stone encampmants of Zimbabwe were all built between the 14thand the 16th century. They are rather small because the population was small as well. The walls were probably erected by temporary labourers, gathered from surrounding villages and communities in the savannah. The items found in the stone ruins, that include luxury products from other continents, have never been found in any smaller clay village.

      In one such fortress, there was a great hall with three rooms : the first one could seat a great number of people, the second one included a single throne, the third contained special objects, including a big stone monolith on a base. This was surely the house of a great priest. From this, one could infer that the whole stone fortress was the « palace » of this priest-king, and that the other stone fortresses interspersed in the region could be such palaces or religious places, forming a network that could have been the political structure of the Great Zimbabwe. This gives the impression of a extremely powerful and hegemonic religious authority, exercing its influence over a dispersed countryside population.

      With king Nyatsimba Mutota, a new entity is formed, the Monomotapa (or Mutapa empire), which gradually establishes a true feudal society and will be taken over by the Portuguese who will, starting in 1629, convert the emperor to Christianity and transform Monomotapa's feudal society into a latifundian one, integrated to global capitalism, where the local Portuguese and their metis descendants will be the new ruling class.

      At the time of the T9A timeline though, king Nyatsimba's just ascended to the throne in a kind of power vacuum and society is getting reorganized, with a lot of traditional customs remaining, a still semi-nomad society at large, and a very fragmented country made up of many smaller kingdoms and countryside communities, centred on their own local Mwari priest, probably evolving towards some kind of confederation, but feudalism is something largely unheard of, apart from the tribute local people would give to their local priest ruler.

      To be noted, the Shona society of the 16th century has really not much to do with the later Zulu warrior society, although they kind of share the same environment and way of life, and there are a lot of common elements in their cultures.

      Army background
      Numerous infantry complements an incredible variety of wild and tamed animals in wide and bloody melee engagements.
      Characters: rare military leaders and omnipresent witchdoctors.
      Infantry: 1) Masses of spearmen with long shields.
      2) Fast Infantry: Zulu Impi were famous for running as fast as a horse.
      3) Tall Grass Hunters: Skirmishers throwing mambeles = a curved throwing dagger.
      Beasts: Packs of Hyenas. Cheetahs. Buffalo stampedes.
      Cavalry: riding lion, zebra, ostrich, rhinoceros.
      Monsters: Elephants (massive tuskers) are here not domesticated, but used as stand-alone monsters.
      Mamlambo: a large snake-like creature (cf. DE Medusa).

      Ghiznuk wrote:
      I see Vanhu as a bunch of semi-primitive, semi-nomad villagers, focused on their own tribe and their own animal spirit, wandering around their own local citadel where is seated their very local Wizard-Priest (or whatever we decide them to be).
      Federations are possible, but they are temporary, based on religious/ethnical/mythological/family bonds and not by the will of a supreme military ruler.
      They don't have any communication network, no roads nor central authority, not even horses. News are spread by some young man running naked feet through the grass until he finds the next village, then goes home.
      Also and more importantly, Vanhu don't have an established, wealthy and all-powerful ruling class capable to commandeer and feed huge beasts coming from far away, as they are just now discovering the good virtues of kinghood.

      When they go to war, they come with whatever beasts they have a direct local access to, and with whom they've had time to create a special affectionate bond. Those animals are called upon only in time of war, the rest of the time they just go and feed themselves. In general, Vanhu does not have a standing army.



      :?: Title:
      I am not really satisfied with the title "Vanhu Kingdoms of Cattle and Gold".
      Any better proposal?

      Social Media Team

      UN Coordinator, aka UNSG

      - druchii.net contribution: The 9th Age - Dread Elves
    • Army Book.
      Based on consultation of several community members, we consider the following playstyle and ASAW. Source thread here: It's time for Africa !

      Playstyles

      4.5Infantry based
      3.7Big main block + many support ("deathstar")
      3.3Guerilla fighting (ambush, scout etc)
      3.0Avoidance
      2.8Mixed arms/jack of all trades - master of none
      2.8Monstruous Infantry/cavalry/beast based
      2.0Single-model based ("monster mash")
      1.5Gunline
      0.5Cavalry based
      0.5Flying circus

      ASAW


      4.3COMBAT - First-combat-turn damage capacitiy
      4.3DEFENSE - Strength in numbers (many low-quality wounds, including raising)
      4.3LEADERSHIP - Bubble Ld (units are brave when close to general/BSB)
      4.3SUPPORT - Magic spells (buff/debuff)
      4.0MOBILITY - Speed
      3.8MOBILITY - Maneuverability (ability to change direction)
      3.8SUPPORT - Buff wagons, unit-enhancing characters and items
      3.8SUPPORT (friendlies) - Magic
      3.5COMBAT - Continuated damage output ("grinding")
      3.5SUPPORT - Intrinsical inter-unit synergy
      3.3LEADERSHIP - Unit's Ld independence (units are brave when alone)
      3.0DEFENSE - Toughness
      3.0MOBILITY - Deployment (ambush, scout, vanguard)
      3.0RANGED - Offensive magic, smaller damaging spells (Fireball and similar, "Small arms spells")
      2.8RANGED - Offensive magic, single big devastating spells ("Heavy arms spells")
      2.5DEFENSE - Special Saves
      2.5RANGED - Small arms fire (lots of low strength shooting models, bows, crossbows etc)
      2.5SUPPORT - Debuff wagons, unit-de-enhancing characters and items
      2.0DEFENSE - Avoiding hits
      1.8DEFENSE - Armour
      1.8RANGED - Maneuverable shooting
      1.3RANGED - Medium arms fire (Few medium strength shootin models, bombardiers, rotary guns, ignoters etc)
      1.0RANGED - Heavy arms fire (war machines and artillery weapons)
      1.0LEADERSHIP - Ignore morale (ITP, unstable etc)

      Comments:
      From Playstyles, obviously Infantry is king, using Deathstar, Guerrilla and Avoidance
      On the weaknesses, there is no flyer, no non-monstrous cavalry, little gunfire, not too many monsters.
      The closest to this is BH. We will need to make sure that the playstyles are different. This pleads for no chariot, and maybe scout rather than ambush.

      From ASAW, shooting is heavily disliked. We're really talking about a pure melee army.

      The real uniqueness of the army is the general use of support. A lot of magic support, unit synergies, there is no other army which wants so madly support, for the sake of melee combat.
      Besides, the army is a mobile one, which, for infantry, means a lot of deployment mobility such as scouting and vanguard. I'd rather avoid ambush and leave that to BH.

      Social Media Team

      UN Coordinator, aka UNSG

      - druchii.net contribution: The 9th Age - Dread Elves
    • Social Media Team

      UN Coordinator, aka UNSG

      - druchii.net contribution: The 9th Age - Dread Elves
    • In short, we don't know much about how the people of the « Great Zimbabwe culture » were organized what they believed in and how they lived. It's all archeology.


      My opinion is that we are here more free to make up something fun and fantasy, as we already have a feudal empire with Koghi.

      I really wish this Vanhu to be our high fantasy « savannah totem and nature spirits warriors »,

      in opposition to Koghi which is more « serious historical » fantasy and Jungle Sorcerers which will be dark vodoo.

      Think colours Green and White ;)
      GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
      First T9A player in West Africa

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Ghiznuk ().

    • (EDITED)

      Ghiznuk wrote:

      What I wrote here.
      Strange, I though it was there, as it was already in the post 140 of It's time for Africa ! from which I did the cut and paste.
      Apparently, during the cut and paste process, the quotes vanished for some reason, I had no time to check (dinner time) but my intention was to keep them.

      -=-=-
      This said, no harm done, but as a contrition for your unfairness, how about to let you take charge of the word document, this time? :)

      Social Media Team

      UN Coordinator, aka UNSG

      - druchii.net contribution: The 9th Age - Dread Elves
    • In general, most of the picson this page are good for Vanhu as I see it.
      Display Spoiler

      To me, Vanhu is where we can insert all the clichés about « safari love »



      Apart from the beast love and infantry mass, in my understanding, the Vanhu have a culture of honesty, bonding, loyalty and respect, with a strong emphasis on the individual and personal valour.


      We should find a mechanism that would allow us to field a great number of heroes aided by natural forces and who can support each other, as well as their units, in different ways.


      The characters should have a lot of personality, you would almost feel as playing a « Dungeons and Dragons » battle of great heroes.


      We should get much inspiration from the Equitan Virtues and Sylvan Kindreds.

      Edit

      Also, stranger things might be found here.




      .
      GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
      First T9A player in West Africa
    • Calisson wrote:

      So now you say that Zulu is an inspiration, finally. :S
      I just wanted to say that the army should not be mentioned as the primary source for this army.
      But yes, they are still an inspiration. :rolleyes:
      -=-=-
      This said, no harm done, but as a contrition for your unfairness, how about to let you take charge of the word document, this time? :)
      Aaargh. ||

      OK, but let's do a thorough brainstorming and agree on the general concept for the army and of every unit before trying to write rules for units that we don't share the same vision for.

      And let's make an effort of being more reactive to each other's wishes so we don't have to write 3-4 times the same thing to make a point. ;)


      I'm removing my previous unfair post.


      Also, shouldn't we send a private message to our participants who seem to have disappeared ?
      GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
      First T9A player in West Africa
    • Tyranno wrote:

      That art has me interested. Very "Black Panther" in feel.
      We are waiting for your contributions :D

      This army is not meant to be too much historical (in my mind, the only limit to the fantasy is that it should be mostly humans), so please, any suggestions ! ;)
      GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
      First T9A player in West Africa
    • OK, now that the documentation has been gathered, let's see what conclusions can be made so far.

      geography & biology
      The whole Eastern Taphria region is mountainous, as seen on the map. There seems to be a lower land where the city Pfukumbu is located, but that part should still be hilly at minimum, being located between two mountains.

      The equivalent RL region is hilly, humid, extraordinarily fertile. In Vanhu area as well, there must be lots of different landscapes, changing frequently with the altitude and the valley orientations, with many lakes of all sizes up to very large, rivers usually speedy and not navigable far inland, trees and grass everywhere.
      No desert, no flat landscape anywhere. The many ecosystems are rather contained in small geographic areas.
      The natural vegetation should be varied and well developed.
      The natural fauna should be also very diverse, well adapted to a small niche.
      Some species could be migratory, especially birds (and phenixes), but also large mammals such as elephants, which can deter the large carnivorous predators.

      tl;dr: No problem to have a large variety of beasts! Including strange, fantasy ones.
      Human geography
      Life in such landscape is easy, leading to a dense population. Most villages live easily in autarcy, off agriculture and cattle.
      However transportation is not easy: no large streams, no flat plains,and plenty of dangerous animals!; it is not too hard either: no rainforest, not too many cliffs.
      Wheel is impractical with no roads and no domesticated animal to pull chariots; anyway there is not much to transport, as everything grows home.
      People are used to run for miles. They communicate frequently with other settlements at short distance (day trip) but very rarely at longer distances.
      Ships are commonplace on large lakes and on sea shores, but there is little link between, because of stream rapids and impressive falls.

      the Kingdom of Vanhu... a proud and resourceful nation led by the fierce King... The Vanhu live in stone fortresses, and have established powerful alliances[/i]...

      The current raise of a Kingdom powerful enough to be known abroad and have established diplomatic ties with Dwarves, Saurians and Sagarikadesha is kind of an anomaly.
      This is the same kingdom which has built the first stone capital city, another anomaly; the city is recent and the surroundings may not allow to sustain for a long time the population which is denser than elsewhere.
      International trade of gold and ivory is another anomaly, as the population does not need much from outside anyway.

      tl;dr: masses of infantry. Strong coherence in small groups, bad in large groups. Wealth is recent.

      -=-=-
      General concept of Vanhu:
      The centralpiece of the army is its leader, who buffes the fighting masses of infantry and beasts.

      -=-=-
      Characters - Totems - Army style
      The profession of the general is paramount to develop the army style.

      - Witch Doctor: Iconic. Dis 8 and decent fighting abilities, but above all, impressive "buff" abilities, however their influence is limited to their "totem group".
      According to the totem, they give the army specific benefits linked with the totem:
      - a "Death Star" effect to one unit from their totem group
      - alliance with some specific monsters or beasts linked with the totem, which are enhanced in some way.

      Totems: Lion, Cheetah, Rhino, Elephant, Buffalo, Zebra, Hyena, Warthog, Wildbeast, Snake, Hippo, Crocodile, Phenix/Roc, Ostrich, Giraffe, Vulture, Baboon, Antelope (OK, maybe not all of them...).

      - Fighter leader: classic leader able to lead an army with Dis 9; however, Witch Doctors hate him so the army access to magic is severly limited (Apprentices). Also, hierarchy is rather foreign to these populations. I would imagine Dis9 for the lord, but Dis7 for mere heroes.
      This leads to a fast infantry and beast army under the bubble of the general.
      See Zulu tactics.

      Lesser heroes (not general) are welcome if similar to the general (another fighter, or another witch doctor of same totem).
      Otherwise they may still come but their influence is limited to the unit they are in, which is impervious of the general's influence.
      In that case, they are limited (much lower Ld than general, or lower wizard level).

      Troops

      - Infantry: masses, very fast: Adv 5, maybe 6 - large access to Scout and Vanguard.
      Good fighters but die easily, they use spear and a large shield, but no armor - some access to Aegis instead.
      For guerilla, mambeles and bows, used by light troops bad at melee.

      - Stand-alone Beasts: numerous and varied. Include the "Big five". Include fantasy monsters such as giant snakes and phenixes. However, domestic cattle is never used.
      Optimized for first turn damage. Large access to Scout and Vanguard. The slowest are well armoured. Low Ld except totem beast.

      - Ridden Beasts: No horse, but the large beasts may be mounted by a single individual. However, they are not well trained to do so.
      Various uses according to the beast. Some are fast, some are armoured. However, low Ld prevails out of the bubble (except for totem animals).
      Only purpose is melee, they do not shoot.

      - Gigantic Monsters: a rarity, and they are stand-alone, not mounted.
      - Flyers: Phoenixes, Roc Birds. a rarity, and they are sometimes mounted.

      - No chariot, no warmachine.

      Army limiting (%) categories may be 1) bowmen and 2) a combination of pure gigantic monsters and flyers, which could be grouped in "Animals of Legends".
      Reversely, Beasts should be core.


      Shall we examine the desired Lores?
      The most distinctive, while in fluff, would be:
      Shamanism, Witchcraft, Druidism, Occultism.
      The most similar are VS, KoE, BH and SE: they have all 2 Paths in common, and only 2.
      Proposed paths

      Druidism: they turn the mighty forces of nature against their enemies as much as to the healing of their own forces.
      The true source of Druidism is not the soil but the very lifeforce of nature itself.
      Fountain of Youth - The Oaken Throne - Master of Earth - Healing Waters - Entwining Roots - Spirits of the Wood - Stone Skin - Summer Growth

      Occultism: this ancient and highly potent lore is commonly called Dark Magic (many whisper it is a gateway to the Dark Gods themselves
      All the power of Darkness will be thy slave
      The Sacrifice - Pentagram of Pain - Hand of Glory - Breath of Corruption - Forbidden Knowledge - The Rot Within - Marked for Doom - The Grave Calls

      Shamanism: The songs of spirit that cause my chest to swell, and the great howls of the northern wolves which make warriors grown lose their nerve.
      Scarification - Awaken the Beast - Swarm of Insects - Savage Fury - Pounding Drumbeat - Chilling Howl - Break the Spirit - Totemic Summon - Totemic Beast

      Witchcraft: at least they’ll just kill me, a witch will just make you wish it were so. all things in this world hide secrets, and in knowing those secrets, you gain power over them.
      Evil Eye - Deceptive Glamour - Raven’s Wing - Twisted Effigy - Willo’theWisp - Bewitching Glare - The Wheel Turns

      Social Media Team

      UN Coordinator, aka UNSG

      - druchii.net contribution: The 9th Age - Dread Elves
    • Hmm.

      – I don't really see why War leaders and Wizards would hate each other. Because a warrior king has recently established power does not mean he is stealing authority from the wizards, maybe they made him king after all.
      On the contrary, I see rather many smaller heroes giving a wide range of diverse small buffs, rather than a single all powerful lord. I am for a diversity of different characters types that work together to achieve the same goal : win the battle.
      Those archetypes could be priest, druid, wizard, hunter, rogue fighter, tank fighter, brave fighter, beastmaster, either through different entries or different kindreds.

      – I'd give all those heroes Dis 8 – they are not hierarchy, but inspiring individuals, local celebrities that encourage the others to fight by showing an example.

      – Large beasts should really be stand-alone and mounts for heroes, and not be able to form full-fledged units of beast riders, as in Koghi.

      – On the other hand, giving more heroes with more varied mounts means those heroes could form units by themselves, like small bands of warriors with their individual beasts ; again, that « Dungeon and Dragons in Africa » effect. For example, you could have a unit of several heroes riding each a different beast : rhino, lion, hippo, giant ostrich, buffalo ?

      – Smaller beasts in pack of supporting units that can easily be joined by appropriate character(s).

      – All those support units gravitate around the main Death Star to buff it as well as buff each other.

      – The Death Star totem could have a wider range that would define how the army is meant to be played.
      In the army selection, the player chooses which totem is the army's totem.
      This could actually be equivalent to or combine with the Battle Standard.

      – Other units could be neighbouring tribes with different totems but whose range would be smaller or only on their own unit.

      – We could think about a rule similar to Sonnstahl Support/Mother units.

      – We were discussing this in the main Taphria thread before v2 came out, but what do you think of these three rules i was proposing then ?
      1. Warriors equipped with short spear shoot once when charging
      2. Horde formation that is also Light Troop.
      3. Special basic weapon short spear that gives +1 AP, while still allowing Parry with shield (similar to Zulu « iklwa »). That would be the basic weapon all the models in the army would use.

      – I'd give them magic : Druidism (non negociable :largegrin:), Shamanism (of course !) and Divination (consistent with the role of wizards as Priests and with the army focus on support)

      – on fluff : We disagree on the place of Great Zimbabwé. You want it to be the newly-built city of the coming new society. I like the post-apocalyptic feel of it having been abandoned something like 30-50 years ago, starting the chain of events that have led to Nyatsimba's rise to power (maybe at the discredit of the traditional witchdoctor caste). By the time we are writing, Great Zimbabwé is already history. That'd add depth to the setting in my opinion.

      – I don't like the word « Witchdoctor », it sounds too much « spirits of the Dead » in my opinion. I'd much rather have them be Priests of Mwari as the Sun God, Father God of Creation or something like that. Definitely a Good, powerful divinity of Life and Light. Maybe associated to a powerful woman goddess of Earth and Creation. I see them more as benevolent wisemen wearing white clothes and gold jewels. Maybe the traveler who wrote that bit of the fluff in the Ninth Scroll did not really know what he was talking about or didn't find the best translation ? :)

      – hmm… hey, you insisted we shouldn't have any Flyer in Koghi, even though they had a score of « 1,1 » for flying circus, twice the Vanhu score for this category :largegrin:
      GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
      First T9A player in West Africa

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Ghiznuk ().

    • - The official BG says:
      a rare military leader in a land where most power is held by witchdoctors
      => how could witch doctors like someone who does not play their game and steals their power? He is a disruptive leader.

      -=-
      Agree to focus on characters. 3 kinds:
      - Spellcasters: priest, druid, wizard, whatever. Strongest totem effects. Wizards fight and can be BSB.
      - Fighters: hunter, rogue fighter, tank fighter, brave fighter, whatever. Strongest Dis.
      - Else: beastmaster (friendlier than the DE one). Strongest Beasts. They would allow the complex ridden unit you wish: BM general changes army % to make it possible.

      Note: No need for too many characters classes. 3 is enough.
      Then, many totems = many combos.

      It is a triangle:
      - beastmaster general= more beasts.
      - fighter general = more Zulu tactics
      - wizard general = more buffs.
      Non-general characters allow to move closer to the center of the triangle.

      -=-
      Vision for totems:
      - all characters must take one. Only characters may take one.
      - BSB same totem as general.
      - If different totems in a unit, they cancel.
      - if 1 totem in unit, some benefits
      - if 0 totem within general/BSB range, other benefits.
      - if same totem in general /bsb range, then more benefits.
      - Death star = totem within range of general+bsb
      - totem more efficient for wizards, average for beastmasters, less for fighters .

      -=-
      Dis 8: OK. Mounts, monsters OK.
      Parent / support unit, no, iconic to EoS.
      3 Suggested rules, OK to look further.

      -=-
      Divination: not fluffy. Why would those people care much for the future when local resources are plenty and society is stagnant and simple?

      -=-
      Fluff says that current situation with powerful military king is unusual. Map shows city. Diplomacy established.
      I see not conservative witch doctors building stone or even bothering for a capital city.
      => not ruins. Best can be done is decadence before decay.

      -=-
      OK for no witch doctor. Any African title?

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      - druchii.net contribution: The 9th Age - Dread Elves
    • Calisson wrote:

      - The official BG says:
      a rare military leader in a land where most power is held by witchdoctors
      => how could witch doctors like someone who does not play their game and steals their power? He is a disruptive leader.
      Still not convinced. Something rare or new does not mean it is disruptive. There might have been a coalition of those witchdoctors agreeing that after some failure or given the fact that foreigners have started colonizing the land, there is the need for a new kind of ruler.
      Anyway, rare does not mean not accepted.


      Parent / support unit, no, iconic to EoS.
      I said « – We could think about a rule similar to Sonnstahl Support/Mother units. », I did not say we should copy that rule.
      Look, we have a Death Star with a lot of smaller units « gravitating » around it, how to best couple and coordinate them ?


      Light Troops for the Horde :
      They should get their full rank bonus in combat, the idea is more generally to allow that big Deathstar to still move as easily as any unit of Skirmishers, while still being as powerful in combat. Something like « The unit moves as if it had Light Troops »



      -=-
      Divination: not fluffy. Why would those people care much for the future when local resources are plenty and society is stagnant and simple?
      I don't know, we can just make up something, we need more Magic Support, that's it ;)


      -=-

      Fluff says that current situation with powerful military king is unusual. Map shows city. Diplomacy established.
      I see not conservative witch doctors building stone or even bothering for a capital city.
      True. We need to ask the BG team what is their view.


      -=-

      OK for no witch doctor. Any African title?
      Not that I can think of. We asked to avoid words which would not be in a dictionary, right ?
      Why not make them « Wise men » ? There is no other army with such name lol.


      Please let's sort out and validate the fluff details with the BG before going any further, hm ?
      GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
      First T9A player in West Africa
    • I really like this idea. See if any of my ideas will help.

      Leader: Good warrior, little armor, L9, option to mount palanquin to increase L range. Option to upgrade AP of your initial unit because you buy better weapons for them.

      Sorcerer: Perhaps we could have two, one wise and good, with some rule to make them look wise and just and the others are dark and macabre. For the former had thought divination, cosmology and shamanism as a common path, the other shamanism, witchcraft, occultism and evocation (to speak to the dead) should be decent combatants, perhaps with an option to be BSB to represent their reliability.

      A warrior hero. I have read above that it is proposed little L,. I think it's good, it can inspire the warriors in other ways, for example the unity where it gains devastating charge n (Battle Focus)
      Core:

      Warriors: profile similar to barbarian. Of4, DF3 and S4, perhaps without AP. They carry spears and a shield that saves 5+ only by shooting, nothing in combat, can also be stopped with the spear. M5 looks good, or it can be a Totem or near general. I would also say that you can choose between scoring or light troops. They carry TW and can use it at 5+ load to impact, but only the first row, if it is OP only 1 shot per model.

      Hunters: similar but with bow and scout option.

      How about a light cavalry mounted in gazelles? Some rule to represent your jumps or speed

      Possible average cavalry with zebras?

      I once read about a city in Africa, I don't remember a country, where gang members had trained hyenas as prey animals and the photo was of a man with a hyena hyper muscled with a chain. This could be either a unit like that or something to be integrated into an orcs baler type unit. I think hyenas should have S5 and several seizures.

      Buffaloostampede. Ogre dog profile perhaps, with impacts by load and +1S to the charge.
      Stampede rule! The target loading unit must close the door.Carrying rhinos, lions or elephants into battle