In Faction Sub-groupings: Analysis and looking at new options.

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  • In Faction Sub-groupings: Analysis and looking at new options.

    The other day on a different thread some people were talking about the possibility of adding addition in faction sub grouping similar to those seen in other armies like VC bloodties and DE cults to OnG. I really liked the idea for a couple of reasons.

    First I feel it provides a lot of addition in faction diversity for list building without changing a whole lot in a book. I think that it's a good way to add something new to a book to change it up without having to add new units, change up how units work considerably or invalidating current lists. Second it can provide fluff and additional modeling options to armies for more fluffy builds. This may be more anecdotal but, I find it a lot more interesting to think of the fluff of an army when its built around a theme. Even just by having more in faction options for writing fluff can be good. Third, I think that it creates a lot of interesting design space without being too complex in a lot of cases. Looking at the current examples like DE, cults add different army builds with unique strengths at a cost. They can do a lot to shape list building when going towards a specific theme or army comp, or can be mostly ignored in favour of a normal DE list. So with all that in mind, I started looking at all the factions in the game, doing a short analysis on the faction ties that are currently in place or lacking in the army and writing a bit on what I think could be done to give each army its own version of faction ties. Some of them may not fit the fluff as I’m not totally familiar with each faction. I’d really just like to get the idea out there and maybe get a discussion going about the possibilities. So without further ado, I’ll start by looking at my analysis and ideas for faction ties for each army in alphabetical order.

    BH
    Current Ties- Minimal
    Totems provide a little bit of in faction diversity. Currently they only offer bound spells. What i’d add to have more of a pronounced faction ties is to have the option to take a Herd aspect. This would limit the faction to only taking 1 of the 4 totems as options and change the greater totem to just casting a harder to dispel version of the spell at its greater range like 5/9 to dispel. In return, you’d gain the option to upgrade units with the appropriate totem to gain the totems aspect. So for black wing it could give the unit +1 advance +2 march for a cost, blooded horn could give devastating charch +1 strength, Clouded eye could give units charging the bearer minimized charge rolls and gnarled hide could give +1 res in the first round of combat all for appropriate costs for the units its upgrading. Obviously the cost would be pretty high for some units especially on minotaurs but, they’d provide more options for list building.

    DL
    Current Ties- Chaos gods
    Options-4
    Cost- Lots of unit restrictions, can only use about 1/3 of the army book.
    Benefits- 5% less core, additional upgrade options, more than 60% of one god units.
    Restrictions- 2/3 of the book cannot be used for any give gods list.
    Interesting to see how much this changes with the new book.

    DE
    Current Ties- Cults
    Options- 4
    Cost- Points and lost of killer instinct
    Benefits- Changing killer instinct for a potentially more beneficial special rule.
    Restrictions- Cult rivally so no mixing one cult with different cult character.
    Maybe an additional cult primarily for the beastmasters, raptor riders and monsters could be added but, I don’t know how that fits with the fluff. Not sure what the current consensus on the powerlevel of the cults is but, from an outsider standpoint they look ok, if not the most exciting of faction ties. Maybe some cult specific wargear to add more depth to the cults?

    DH
    Current Ties-None
    Maybe add something like Dwarven guilds? One specialised in combat, one in marksmanship and one in constructs and warmachines? Maybe have each one of the guilds core units lose shield wall in order to gain a different special rule like DE? Maybe the choppy one gives battle focus, the shooty one gives quick to fire to cancel out unwieldy and craftsmen one gives a lesser runic engraving so either +1 ap, Vanguard or +1 agility. Give them appropriate costs per unit to upgrade and give each guild a specific unit ties outside of core. So for choppy its Seekers, for shooty its rangers and for craftsmen its hold guardians. Give them a guild specific upgrade and there you have it. So for example x additional points to give seekers battle focus, give rangers quick to fire, give hold guardians the option to pick two runic engravings.

    EoS
    Current ties-None
    Not sure how the empire is divided, maybe different army divisions or regiments? Is it composed of different provinces like in warhammer? I haven’t read any empre fluff. Perhaps give the option to choose a specific faction ties that makes you require 5% more core, but gives your general access to a regiment specific upgrade that gives him access to a new order and maybe a boost to some stats. Then also give one type of unit specific to the regiment an upgrade option similar to the general. Maybe one focused on each core unit. So one faction that give Heavy infantry an upgrade option to take heavy armor for X points, one to give light infantry lethal strike on all shooting attacks, give militia feigned flight, and give electoral cavalry devastating charge lightning reflexes all for a cheap upgrade each.

    HbE
    Current ties- minimal
    Honours offer bonuses that can act as a force multiplier but for the most part they only upgrade the character. Potentially give the option for one greater honour per army and have it give an appropriate upgrade to the unit the character is joined to.

    ID
    Current Ties-None
    Not sure what the different sects of ID are normally divided into. Is it holds or clans or something else? Potentially they could have 4 different sects, one melee focused, one ranged focused, 1 slaver focused and one fire focused (more so than usual). Give the option for a lord to belong to one of the sects for points. Have the choppy one have a upgrade option for Immortals and infernal warriors without blunderbuss that gives hatred, one for infernal warriors with blunderbuss and citadel guards with flintlock axes accurate, have the slavers give hobgoblins and orc slaves +1 advance +2 march while with-in 6” of a unit with chosen of ashuruk, and then give the fire focused ones the ability to take volcanic embrace on forge guards and increases the number of volcanic embrace hits inflicted by Kadim units to d3 for each model in base contact. All for a points cost.

    KoE
    Current ties-Minimal
    Virtues in some cases offer bonuses to the bearers unit already. Potentially adding something along the lines of knightly orders could be interesting. Maybe something like order of the blackened bull that grants impact hits at strength 4 ap1 while in lance formation, d3 hits for characters at a cost? Order of the true faith to give them aegis 5+ against magical. Then order of the gilded crucible that grants access to an upgrade to purchase plate armour but, lower the advance by 1 and march by 2.

    OK
    Current Ties- Minimal
    Wildheart specifically adds a different build option to OK that gives you benefits and restrictions. So maybe add one or two big names in the same vein as wildheart that change the way that you build and play OK. Maybe a big name related to the Powder keg section of the book that gives the bearer a hand cannon with aim 3+ and D6+1 shots with strength 5 ap3, allows you to take a unit of bombardiers as core(still counting towards powder keg), ups the amount of powder keg you can bring to 45% but, restricting you to no kin-eaters, yeti’s, tusker cavalry or sabretooths.

    O&G
    Current Ties-Minimal
    Currently when you pick and orc unit, you can make it a normal orc or a feral orc. Similarly for gobins you pick common, cave or forest goblin when picking goblin units. After that there is little difference and you can mix and match orcs and goblins as you see fit. I’d like things to go further on tribes. So similar to UD i’d like to see the option before you start list building to pick a tribe with 5 options. Mountain dwellers which would be primarily cave goblins, mountains orcs and other mountain dwelling OnG units, tribes of the plains which is primarily mounted OnG units, South landers which is forest goblin units and feral orc units, Da great green tribe which is all orcs with a focus on “eadbashers, and Da cunnin’ hordes which is all goblins. So for mountain dwellers they could only take units with the cave goblin race, iron orc race, orcs with heavy armour and crossbows (always felt like an iron orc kind of unit), gnashers, GWT, trolls and giants and great green idols and all death from above units changing their unit type to cave goblin. Benefits would be something like being able to take one unit of Iron orcs as core, option to take light armor on cave goblins, Iron orcs gain halberds and spears upgrade option etc.

    SA
    Current Ties- Minimal
    Saurian warriors can take totem animals and I thinks that’s a cool idea. I think that the option should also be given to Temple guard, raptor riders, Saurian veterans and Saurian Warlords all for appropriate costs. Maybe also change piranha to giving frenzy and battle focus? That would be more fitting IMO but, that's just it. My opinion.

    SE
    Current Ties- Minimal
    Kindred makes the character more similar to another unit in the army. Aspects of nature provide a buff to the unit that the character is in. Really just one or two more options for aspects of nature would be nice. Maybe have the kindred upgrade also provide an upgrade option to the unit they associated with where applicable?

    VS
    Current Ties- None
    I really feel that VS should get something. I feel that the reason that they currently have nothing special like a faction tie or Virtues or Big names or the like has to do with their already overburdened complexity budget. The model rules section is pretty loaded. I still think that VS could really use a faction ties section. Something easy like Vermin clans. One for the built and bred kind of stuff like giant rats, vermin hulks and Abominations. (Moulder) one for the sneaky vermin like Gutter blades, Footpads and assassins (Eshin) one for the plague loving vermin like the plague brotherhood, plague disciples and the plague patriarch (pestilence) and one for the shooty vermin in the verminous artillery section (Skryre). Maybe each faction can take 5% more of their section (built and bred for one and tunnel gunners for another if they take no units from the other clans. and maybe give the three units representing each clan an upgrade option like for the first clan the ability to buy a 6+ fortitude save on giant rats, a 5+ fortitude save on vermin hulks and an upgrade to give the abomination 2 natural armour. Don’t know if the old clans have different names in 9th age or if they've been phased out so change the names to whatevers appropriate.

    UD
    Current ties- Monarchs of Undeath
    Options-2
    Costs- Points and Unit restriction
    benefits- Better wargear or stats
    restrictions- loss of some special rules and diminished unit selection
    I like the way the monarchs of undeath look. I think it's a really cool faction ties, adds a lot of different options for fluff and change the way the faction plays but not too much. I think that the faction tie that's currently in place is really good and maybe just think of adding a third option in the future if anything IMO.

    VC
    Current Ties-Bloodlines
    Options-5
    Cost- 5% more core, point cost.
    Benefits- Stat increases and/or addition special rules for the vampire, Ancient bloodpower access, duplicate blood powers per army, Blood ties abilities on units.
    Restrictions- Only one bloodline per army (unless playing no bloodline army) some blood ties for units are mandatory, needing 5% more core.
    In a pretty good place right now. Some of the bloodline like Nosferatu and Von Karnstein seem a little weaker or at least underused but, other than that bloodlines are pretty interesting and add a lot of depth that would otherwise be lacking in the faction.

    WDG
    Current Ties- Favour of the dark gods
    Options-7
    Costs- Points
    Benefits- Special rules
    Restrictions- Characters can only join units of the same god
    There’s no benefit to going mono god that i can see so IMO that's a little disappointing but not the biggest deal. If I were to change something here it would be to give a small benefit to going mono-god as i think that's fluffy and cool but, I can see the justification behind multi-god lists so it's not a huge flaw. Maybe just up the character allowance to 50% for mono-god lists. Not a huge change but, a little incentive if you want to build that way.

    I just want to know what other people think of the idea, how they would do any of the faction ties differently or if they think having faction ties for each faction is a bad idea and why. Thank you for any replies. :thumbsup:

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

  • I can only really comment on the factions I play so:

    KoE

    We already have Knightly orders with the oath system - Fealty, Questing and Grail. I wouldn't be against adding additional orders into the mix. The key here is that KoE units should be entirely feasible as a basic unit, without any need to buff either with options or with models on the battlefield. KoE cavalry (which is what the faction is all about) is so expensively priced that it's not acceptable for the unit to need a character or an additional buff on to for them to be worthwhile.

    On impact hits, we have a magical banner for that - the banner of the last charge. I think we had impact hits back before 1.0 and this was considered overpowered (especially for characters), hence the R&F restriction on the banner.

    On Aegis, I don't think what we have is enough - I still haven't seen an intelligible argument from any team members against a 5+ aegis save all the time if the army prays. A lot of people design their army to only pray if already going second and I think the team have messed this up and basically invalidated the only fluff of the faction. Praying should be pretty much always done except under very special circumstances.

    I think that if the team made divine attacks a little more common so that every army has at least one counter to Aegis saves, this wouldn't be so much of an issue.

    Plate armour for -1 advance and -2 march would have to be very well priced for people to look at this as a valid option (free or as a discount for me). The army is all about manoeuvrability and you can't afford to give up movement for anything.

    DH

    Guilds could be interesting depending on how it's done. You're method could work but it's a bit wet - one unit and it's only an option per guild. I'd like to see something more army wide, that shows the powers of the guilds. E.g. you have 4 guild and you have to give every unit and character a guild upgrade with the following limitations:

    Every Guild must be represented (unless there are less than 4 entries on the army list)
    No 2 units of the same type can have the same guild (e.g. 2 units of marksmen must have different guilds)
    No guild can outnumber the others combined. So if your army is Guild A = 1, Guild B = 1, Guild C = 1, Guild D = 3, that would be ok. If you added an extra unit it cannot be guild D because then Guild D would outnumber the others.

    Characters joining a unit with the same guild would get unit bonuses and potentially a penalty for joining a different guild unit.
    Never argue with Idiots. They drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.
  • Interesting thoughts. I guess for KoE I didn’t do enough readings as I guess some of the powers overlap with current abilities. Maybe change some of them to find new design space for knights. I think that the plate armor upgrade with -1advance -2 March would be priced fairly low and would change how the units played a little so if the three ideas I threw out there I like it the best. Maybe the system I thought of would be better off linked to either the oath or virtue taken by your General but I’m not sure.

    On DH, I like the idea you’ve proposed. It would be unique and interesting. Would probably need to re-examine the benefits bestowed by the guilds but, I like the way that it would affect army building . Just need to make sure there is an option to play without guilds so you can field the army like normal.
  • Swarmsorbust wrote:

    I guess for KoE I didn’t do enough readings as I guess some of the powers overlap with current abilities.
    Maybe, maybe not. The team think that impact hits for all KoE cav units would be overpowered and I can't disagree with them. A large unit with banner of the last charge can go through units.

    Swarmsorbust wrote:

    I think that the plate armor upgrade with -1advance -2 March would be priced fairly low and would change how the units played a little so if the three ideas I threw out there I like it the best.
    There's 2 points on this that I'd like to make:
    1. Going from a 2+ to a 1+ AS is the most expensive upgrade. I can't see the team pricing this cheaply but I may be wrong.
    2. A KoE cavalry unit can't charge a medium sized infantry unit (20 models or more) to the face and win (unless the infantry unit is completely worthless) and giving them a 1+ armour save won't change this. Therefore you have to use your manoeuvrability to get into the flanks of enemy units. Reducing manoeuvrability on knights isn't going to help the army.
    They would certainty play differently by being slower, but they'd need more than just +1 to AS in compensation. You'd need to make them combat blenders as well. Having said all that, if we could get this cheapish, there is a hole for a cavalry anvil that KoE could use. It's an interesting concept, I just worry that because knights are so expensive that this isn't something that would be feasible.

    If you're interested, there's a thread for KoE suggestions which is currently quite active. It should give you an idea of the direction most KoE players want the army to go in and the arguments discussions about this:

    the-ninth-age.com/index.php?th…ostID=1010155#post1010155

    Swarmsorbust wrote:

    On DH, I like the idea you’ve proposed. It would be unique and interesting. Would probably need to re-examine the benefits bestowed by the guilds but, I like the way that it would affect army building . Just need to make sure there is an option to play without guilds so you can field the army like normal.
    I think that if you wanted to make the faction dominated by guilds you should make this compulsory to have at least 1 unit (or character) from each guild to represent their power. If you make the effects cool, interesting and decent people will want to take the option anyway. :)
    Never argue with Idiots. They drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.