Vermin Anteaters

    • Hey Eldan, but I don't see the fuss, it's still Rats who became Vermin-men and Humans who turned into Beasts.

      At least, that's how I understand it.


      Still don't like that « One explanation fits all » for the origins of Gnolls.
      I'm sure we can be more creative.


      ALSO, the parallel you're drawing Calisson with the Bantu migration is a bit strange to me, as the actual Bantu migration went FROM West Africa TO Southern Africa, not the other way around.
      Unless I didn't get what you were talking about.
      Either way, I don't actually think this is an interesting/needed parallel to draw, we could as well have a Koghi migration, or no migration at all, who cares :tongue:
      GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
      First T9A player in West Africa
    • Ghiznuk wrote:

      Still don't like that « One explanation fits all » for the origins of Gnolls.

      I'm sure we can be more creative.
      We could, and it would be easy. But we should not be too creative, especially not if we fall into high fantasy, or "it's magic, stupid!".
      The reason is that T9A is rather realistic in its fantasy.
      The more fancy we get, the less believeable the setting becomes.


      Ghiznuk wrote:

      the actual Bantu migration went FROM West Africa TO Southern Africa, not the other way around.and then in every direction.
      Corrected for you. ;)
      But you're right, who cares.

      -=-=-
      Anyway, I think I have enough material to start a first draft.
      I will try to use posts 71 and 75 as a basis, adding creatively my own appreciation.
      For example, I will make most leaders matriarch leaders.

      For the races, I will try to put an emphasis on Anteaters as biological VS, with different culture.
      And Gnolls will be an important, but secondary species, living in symbiosis. I will try to make them non-mandatory, if I can.

      And of course, there will be the Bonnacon and the Catoblepas.

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    • New

      Here is my take for the concept of the Army Book, based on Anteater's background.

      Anteaters and Surukus

      Surukus, a.k.a. Gnolls, should stay loosely described, so that players can pick up the allied species of their choice, and even consider that Surukus are just a different breed of Vermins. Like the word "Anteater", the word "Suruku" is how the Koghis name them. Their name in their own language would be translated as "the True Ones" or something alike.

      Anteaters and Surukus are allies, but they do not live together: Anteaters are found inside gigantic anthills, Surukus are found in miserable villages in vicinity. In times of war, they get mutual benefit from cooperation.

      Armywise, Surukus provide
      as characters: a fighter/leader, a witch, an assassin,
      and as units: Scavenger warriors, bow Archer shooters, and Hyena light cavalry and chaff.

      Rulewise, Suruku characters may not join Anteater units.
      One single Anteater character, from the Translator Caste, is accepted in Suruku units, and serves to translate the influences of the General and BSB.


      Anteater Leaders

      Leadership is inspired from Termites, with precise succession rules to ensure that the colony survives the death of its leader.

      Instead of VS Tyrant and VS Chief, there are four characters specialized in leadership which can become General or BSB:
      - Tribe Queen (HP5, Dis9, 200 pts equipment),
      - Anthill Queen (HP4, Dis8, 150 pts equipment),
      - Mother Queen (HP3, Dis7, 100 pts equipment) and
      - Litter Queen (HP2, Dis6, 50 pts equipment).
      All of them are poor fighters (Magister’s stats), lead from behind, and use bodyguards.

      TQ, AQ, MQ and LQ can be general. MQ and LQ can be BSB.

      The General never tolerates any Queen of higher or same Dis in the army.


      Succession:
      When the general or the BSB dies, a Queen with lower Dis present on the Battlefield takes that charge immediately.
      If the new general was already BSB, she loses that charge and all the effects of her banner; another Queen of lower Dis may become BSB, if available.

      All other Queens of higher or same Dis than the new General must immediately flee towards the closest table edge, and may never rally. If they were inside a unit, even in melee, they get out of the unit immediately and flee.

      Victory Points can be awarded several times for General or BSB killed or fled.

      -=-
      Other Anteater Characters may not become General or BSB. Nobody cares if their Dis is higher or equal to the General’s.
      A Suruku Chief may be the General or BSB, but has no influence on any Anteater.


      Lone Fighters
      Among the many castes in the Anteater society, there is a highly skilled fighter:

      Nasutes: specialized Caste of super-fighters, with no leadership role. A Nasute has a horn-like nozzle frontal projection (a nasus). These unique soldiers are able to spray noxious, sticky secretions containing diterpenes at their enemies. They have stats like VS Rakachit Machinist.

      Suruku Chieftess: The Suruku's best fighter and alpha female (0-1 per army).
      If she is general, no Anteater model may benefit from her influence.
      Note: Suruku have no BSB.

      Suruku Assassin: equivalent of VS Sicarra Assassin.

      Darkstone Golem to replace VS Vermin Daemon. (EDITED)


      Magic-users

      Anteaters have specialized magic-using Castes, male/female.

      Which lores should be available? Depends on the background, the origins, the neighbours.
      • :) Alchemy makes sense for Darkstone experts, all the more that they have contact with ID.
      • :) Druidism makes sense for biological experts such as Anteaters.
      • :| Thaumaturgy is a VS specialty; but it seems heavily linked with religion, which is not important for Anteaters.
      • :| Witchcraft is logical, coming from VS tradition enhanced by observation of Koghi and ID. But is it adapted to an ant or termite mentality? I don’t see that happening.
      • :( :) Shamanism is weird for Anteaters, a highly urban species, but works well for Suruku, due to Vanhu tradition.
      • :) Occultism could work, it is evil enough for Surukus.
      • :| Pyromancy could come from Koghi imitation, but I see not Hyenas loving fire.
      • :( Evocation does not make sense: Surukus are scavengers, nothing to do with souls.
      Here is my take for Anteaters:

      Bonesetters use Druidism, and have similar stats as VS Magister.

      Darkstonesmiths use Alchemy have access to specific special items and have similar stats as VS Plague Patriarch.


      Suruku Witches are decent fighters and may use Shamanism or Occultism.

      Together, this makes a unique combination compared to any other faction, including our own Taphrian ones.


      Support Characters

      There is no equivalent in VS. Anteaters have two more specialized Castes, male/female, with similar stats as VS Magister.

      Interpret: translates the Anteater language for Suruku. No interpret = no Gen/BSB influence.
      If a Gen/BSB order is not obeyed (i.e. failed Dis test using the Gen/BSB influence), they are eaten in the process. :pursuit:
      Risky, but that is the only way for Surukus to get the influence of the general or the BSB's bubbles.

      Trader: useful to hold 100 pts of special equipment, beneficial to their unit.
      Traders might cancel some special equipment from an opposing Character in contact (by stealing it :hiddenthreat: ).


      Mounts

      Anteaters could have carried over VS traditions, or be inspired from the Koghi, except that they have to use animals which could live underground.

      Litter Palanquin replaces the VS Vermin Guard Litter, only for Queens.

      Anteater bodyguard replaces the VS Vermin Hulk Bodyguard, but cannot be used by the Queens, which are too fatty and heavy.

      Monstrous Rat remains VS Monstrous Rat, can't be used by Queens either.

      Bonnacon added.

      But no VS Plague Pendulum, no VS Doom Bell.

      For Surukus, large Hyenas are added.




      Core basic fighters

      Warrior = basic troop, replacing VS Rats-at-Arms

      Worker = weaker troop, ~VS Slave.

      Suruku Scavenger make up for VS Vermin Guard

      Suruku Archers replace VS Footpads.


      Specialist fighters

      Multiple castes of warriors exist:

      Vermin Hulks remain VS Vermin Hulks,

      Meat Grinders remain VS Meat Grinders,

      Abominations remain VS Abominations


      Suruku get in addition light Hyena cavalry.


      Unconventional fighters

      Miners: dig with their large claws. Of course, they may ambush.
      They use gigantic Beetles to push warpstone in dung bowls, which they can catapult.
      They know its electric properties, used on melee weapons, and possibly as a lightning shooting weapon.

      They replace Weapon Team, Jezails, Grenadiers, Verminous Artillery, Dreadmill and Gutter Blades.

      Crystal Bellies replace Plague Brotherhood and Plague Disciples. They are old miners, who have eaten too much Darkstone crystals in their life and are no longer efficient in mines. They become suicidal, with self-explosive acid-filled bellies, inspired from termites.

      Together, they may need to make a specific category limited to 30%. Please discuss.


      Proxy fighters

      Herder: herd various animals, some of them with military properties:

      - Porcupines able to shoot their pines;

      - Pangolins, thrown like bowling to stumble large assaliants – and who come back if they have not been stomped :P ;

      - Giant Rats like VS’s Giant Rats

      - Rat Swarms like VS’s Rat Swarms


      Additionally, Surukus herd Hyenas.

      Similarly, herded units may be limited in %. Please discuss.




      Anteaters specific tactics
      Anteater units may benefit from specific rules:

      - Anteater Swarm: Thanks to their 360 vision, whiskers and tail, Anteaters move a thousand as swiftly as a single one. To represent that, they move like light troops, and remain normal troops otherwise.

      - Anteater Column: Warriors on the sides, the most fearsome at the front, supply carried in the middle; the fallen are replaced immediately. This is not going to be described simply, but it is worth trying.

      - 5th limb: the tail is used as stabilizer when standing up, proving improved stability for non-moving infantry: no bonus, this is already included in their stats.
      However, some trained Anteaters use instead their tail as a third arm, providing one more attack – but losing stability.
      This could be an option for a character or a unit.


      Suruku unique tactics

      Suruku are scavengers and have strong jaws. This should be reflected.

      As Scavengers, they should be able to break the bones of their kills so much that undead can’t be risen back.

      Their impressive jaws could be used as a strong killing blow, especially for the Assassin.

      Please comment, while I start to populate the first draft of the Antearers Homebrew Army Book.

      Bonus:
      I have searched for an inspired picture, free of IP, to represent Anteaters.
      Left one is a picture from my collection, right one is a drawing from Wiki commons.
      Which one do you like best?
      Anteaters.jpg

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    • New

      Should Hyenas have cavalry? I mean, do they actually gain anything from being it? Why not just beasts with swiftstride?

      I also think that it's a bit... well, dull to have four versions of basically the same character in the queens. Could we cut that to two and get something else? A mining character, or a monster breeder/hunter (inspired by the ogre hunter?)

      It's also lacking a big centerpiece a bit, I think, without the pendulum, demon or bell. What about my suggestion of animated darkstone demons?

      Also, while Hyenas can break bones, certainly, I don't really see how they do it better than a mace or an axe.


      It was suggested the *thing* for the plague clan of the Avrastes should be that they weaken all units around, themselves and others. This could work for the darkstone daemon. It has an aura that weakens everyone around brutally, but affects the enemy more, if they have higher stats. Say, everyone gets -3 OS, to a minimum of 1, because they become slow and sluggish. Or a penalty to toughness.
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      The post was edited 1 time, last by Eldan ().

    • New

      What is this army Strength? Seems to have no huge monsters, no shooting, no armor, no shock-cavalry, no elite blocks, no fighting-characters, no flying models..? Army looks a bit flat.
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    • New

      Eldan wrote:

      Should Hyenas have cavalry?
      => maybe not.


      I also think that it's a bit... well, dull to have four versions of basically the same character in the queens.
      => it is one entry with 4 levels, just like magic users are one entry with 3 levels.



      Could we cut that to two and get something else? A mining character, or a monster breeder/hunter (inspired by the ogre hunter?)
      => never mentioned so far. What is the need for it?


      It's also lacking a big centerpiece a bit, I think, without the pendulum, demon or bell. What about my suggestion of animated darkstone demons?


      It was suggested the *thing* for the plague clan of the Avrastes should be that they weaken all units around, themselves and others. This could work for the darkstone daemon. It has an aura that weakens everyone around brutally, but affects the enemy more, if they have higher stats. Say, everyone gets -3 OS, to a minimum of 1, because they become slow and sluggish. Or a penalty to toughness.
      => missed that.
      Will try to make a Darkstone Golem in that light.


      Also, while Hyenas can break bones, certainly, I don't really see how they do it better than a mace or an axe.
      => they eat it!



      JimMorr wrote:

      What is this army Strength? Seems to have no huge monsters, no shooting, no armor, no shock-cavalry, no elite blocks, no fighting-characters, no flying models..? Army looks a bit flat.
      ?( It is close to VS.
      Same monsters when I add the golem, less shooting but not zero, same lack of armor, more cavalry and beast, similar fighting characters, no more flying than VS.

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    • New

      Calisson wrote:

      It is close to VS.
      Same monsters when I add the golem, less shooting but not zero, same lack of armor, more cavalry and beast, similar fighting characters, no more flying than VS.
      Well today VS have only shooting and yesterday used to have fighting plague-cult boosted by a warplatform. When you take away shooting from VS and warplatforms and the deamon and the plague cult there is nothing really left...
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    • New

      Isn't numbers a strength? I mean, the (theoretical) idea I have of Vermin Swarm is an irresistible tide of rats. A drop is nothing, but nobody can resist the tide. After all, it is just a matter of cost.

      Also, same strength as VS, the colony does not care about individual lives (except Queens). So no problem to shoot in melees. Not to forget the suicide Crystal Bellies.

      -=-=-
      Technological shooting and war platforms (with plague) are supposed to be replaced by Darkstone and Biology.
      Maybe we could investigate a bit more in these two directions.

      For biology, everyone knows that in Africa, animals are larger than European equivalents. No reason Vermins would make an exception.
      We may find other animals to use, in addition to porcupines and pangolins. Any idea?

      For Darkstone, as said, there will be the Darkstone Golem. We could find other ideas.

      -=-=-
      What about letting miners dig tunnels from which units in reserve could flow? In addition to the swarm rule, that makes a super maneuvrable army, even if it is slow.

      Other ideas, which could be compatible with the background?

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    • New

      The problem is that, despite their numbers being touted as a strength, Vermin Swarm absolutely can not win any close combat against even moderately skilled troops. They have no buffs, no staying power, no damage output. They really only can win the game by first reducing an enemy to half the size with shooting. Maaaaybe with monsters.

      if you take out the shooting, the question becomes that this army actually does to win.

      Technical terms, here, not army fluff concepts. We need to first work out how this army performs on the field. Especially since I've seen the proposal mentioned of making their basic troops even weaker. That works for undead, since they can be revived and have strong heroes and elite units. It doesn't work for rats.
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    • New

      OK, thanks for the explanation.
      Once more back to the background, even the best warrior termite or warrior ant is weak, but the colony is strong.
      The feeling I wish to give is that for the opponent, there is no ending to killing Anteaters, and once in contact, there is no way out.
      Anteaters would lose any individual battle but win the attrition war.

      Could that be a super mobility allowing to surround the enemy?

      What about a unit of smaller Anteaters able to go across opposing units? Every time they touch an opposing unit, instead of starting a melee, they get across it, each model in the Anteater unit and its opposing unit get a chance to attack once, and they end up on the oppsosite side? This is swarmy.

      Or a specific material that Workers are carrying (dung?) which makes the battlefield locally oppressing for those who kill them, especially by stomping?

      Or what if these workers are carrying Darkstone? Instead of artillery, you would have short-range living missiles.

      Please provide ideas.

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    • New

      Warriors are bigger and stronger than workers but less numerous. They are bred for war only. Warriors should replace hulks rather than r@a. They could be used as:

      1. Units of warriors - well armored strong units on 40mm bases
      2. Mixed into worker units, boosting their performance
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    • New

      Instead of slaves we could have blind drones born with the single purpose to serve queen. Only queen could join their unit and they would have bodyguard. I am tempted to propose greater queens giving birth to the drones on the fly... the bigger the queen the more drones...
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    • New

      Eldan wrote:

      Tyranid Tervigon
      Had to google this one... I stopped following nids' fluff when the only big monster other than Hive Tyrant was Carnifex ;). But yes, tribe queen could be something like that :) On 60x100mm base. Maybe on pulled platform being too fat to move alone.
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    • New

      Hi all, just intervening very fast here, didn't have to read it all yet :

      – Suruku Cavalry : if no cavalry, then we're losing one of the biggest advantage they bring to the army ; it's the only Cavarly unit accessible to any Vermin Swarm army, i think it's very worth to keep it.

      – Suruku Hyena Bite : could be an additional attack that can't be upgraded by weapons but has extra AP for example.
      Or Multiple Wounds.


      Will come back later ^^
      Enjoy
      GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
      First T9A player in West Africa
    • New

      There are a few rules like that. Could be something simple.
      I mean, as the basic:
      Suruku SkirmisherScout, Vanguard, Skirmisher, Light infantry, Swiftstride, mighty Jaws40x40 mmMove 6, March 10, OS4, Att 1, Str3, Agi4, DS3, Res4, HP1, Dis 7
      Mighty jaws: this unit may make one additional melee attack, this attack has +1 Str, +1 AP
      May take:-Shields-Javelins-Two hand weapons-Light armor-Shortbows
      I noticed you didn't list them in your list, but I'd also suggest to supplement them with normal rat skirmishers, more like footpads or gutter blades, who are a bit cheaper, weaker, but also get to take slings and poison.

      The thing about the cavalry rule is this: it doesn't do anything. Read the cavalry rule:

      • Troop Type rules: Combined Profile, Cavalry Support
        Special rules: Swiftstride
      Cavalry support is meanlingless on them. They can get Swiftstride without being Cavalry. Cavalry doesn't do anythign else, except make them vulnerable to spears.
      True Heirs of Avras: Vermin Swarm Auxillary Army books
      Some call it shameless Wishlisting! Some call it an Unplayable Mess! Some ask what is the Point of This! Is it an Auxillary Book? A Copy-paste Ripoff? A Fan Version of an existing Book? See for yourself, citizens!

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Eldan: More details ().

    • New

      There are a few rules like that. Could be something simple.
      I mean, as the basic:
      Suruku SkirmisherScout, Vanguard, Skirmisher, Light infantry, Swiftstride, mighty Jaws40x40 mmMove 6, March 10, OS4, Att 1, Str3, Agi4, DS3, Res4, HP1, Dis 7
      Mighty jaws: this unit may make one additional melee attack, this attack has +1 Str, +1 AP
      May take:-Shields-Javelins-Two hand weapons-Light armor-Shortbows
      I noticed you didn't list them in your list, but I'd also suggest to supplement them with normal rat skirmishers, more like footpads or gutter blades, who are a bit cheaper, weaker, but also get to take slings and poison.

      The thing about the cavalry rule is this: it doesn't do anything. Read the cavalry rule:

      • Troop Type rules: Combined Profile, Cavalry Support
        Special rules: Swiftstride
      Cavalry support is meanlingless on them. They can get Swiftstride without being Cavalry. Cavalry doesn't do anythign else, except make them vulnerable to spears.
      True Heirs of Avras: Vermin Swarm Auxillary Army books
      Some call it shameless Wishlisting! Some call it an Unplayable Mess! Some ask what is the Point of This! Is it an Auxillary Book? A Copy-paste Ripoff? A Fan Version of an existing Book? See for yourself, citizens!