Tsuandan Warring States | Cathay for T9A

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    • Ah, the famous celestial beaurocracy, best name ever for a pantheon :D

      For T9A we don't have any special characters yet so no need for a dragon king now.
      I think the Long Shi Zhe is successfully conveying the mystical eastern dragon feeling.
      The statline and rules are very similar to what I envision for a future Quetzalcoatl for Saurian ancients. Also in the same vein, there was a discussion on SA forums regarding wheteher a supernal (=magical) being can also have innate magic resistance? (IMHO, no reason why not, and supernal can also be used to feel that this being just teleports away in case it's life is in danger)
    • Eymuster wrote:

      Also in the same vein, there was a discussion on SA forums regarding wheteher a supernal (=magical) being can also have innate magic resistance? (IMHO, no reason why not, and supernal can also be used to feel that this being just teleports away in case it's life is in danger)
      Interesting discussion, it got me thinking hard about the nature of Tsuandanese "celestial creatures"! I don't know much about Quetzalcóatl though (aside from the cool artworks it gets online) so won't be able to provide valuable guidance there, but that's definitely a model that would be cool to see on the table.

      Regarding Tsuandan celestials, following the mythology they are basically nature spirits; their ability travel through heaven/earth/hell (at least yaoguais!) means they are not as tangible as SE Sylvan Spirits for instance, this is where the Supernal initially came from. Now with the new spoilers of KE, Feys seem to be a good match for the nature of these beings... and the Fey Courtier has Supernal, so I'm quite reassured with that :) (and very curious to know what the Fey Spirit rule does!)

      Regarding RM/Supernal: it is just a game mechanic which can cover various cases, for instance a supernal creature could consume part of the magic directed at it for sustenance so the wizard would pump more power in its spell to counterbalance it, so there are ways around it. In the case of Tsuandan though I am not sure the RM is needed :huh: - the idea was to link it with the jade material which would be used as some kind of stabiliser for supernal, but that may be too obscure so might as well be removed and potentially replaced by a more thematic rule like "Heavenly Spirit" or "Celestial Bureaucracy" (just love this pantheon too, if anyone has a cool idea to translate it ingame that would totally go there :saint: )

      Tsuandan Warring States
      Cathay for T9A!
      ----------
      :totems: BH Homebrew :totems:
      Beastly Beasts without PI!
    • I'm now checking the units. I'm trying to get a feeling for the units and the fluff behind and how they make a coherent army and not too complicated for oppponent.

      Reading through it is obvious some models are spiritual or celestial origin. Did you consider a blanket rule such as "celestial" or "spirit" and putting their common rules to this. Their common-ish rules seem to be; Magic resistance, hard target, Aegis 5+, channel and for some, fly.
      How this would help is, clearly point which model is magical, and from fluff point it would give a source or origin to these beings. Why is zhan shen so superior to any human (or even elf) character, because it is nearly a celestial already!

      Retinue: First of all I love this :) But I would give combat bonus only to bodyguard.
      Sworn Guard: +1 HP OR "Memorable Sacrifice: Immediately after taking a wound, but before any attempts to save it, you may remove this model part. The wound is saved"
      Advisor: instead of combat bonus, may be give it a stratagem, or ability to change a stratagem for another, or another such strategic bonus sounds more befitting.
      Artist: I think, just extra command/rally range is enough, no need for battlefocus and magic range (I guess though, battlefocus means artist is a talented bard:))

      Core 25% I think Tsuandan army should have a larger percentage of core to show that its back bone is massive lines of infanty, a la three kingdoms.. As it is it seems we see a lot of MSU lists with supreme martial artists. Such super elite warriors in small numbers are I think better suited to the characters section. But, I get the allure of taoist warrior monks...

      Siyi Fighters: I think this is a dangerous unit (in right hands) as it is 180p for 10 models with: move5, ambush,scout, skirmish, feigned flight, strider, S4 throwing weapons...IN CORE. You can take 3. I compare to skink hunters with poison javelin and vanguard which is move6, skirmish, 5+ save, parry and poison jav 3+ for all the disadvantages of being a skink (res2, s3). 185p (and definitely not in core)

      2x20 state soldiers with bows + 3x Siyi fighters with ambush,Pa Shan and throwing weapons is a neat 900p.

      Special:
      Silver Dragons: I would give them the basic agi3 to make them more in line with normal humans. But, I would give them option for bows to show their veteran status. Similar to a unit of seaguard but worse. Also would consider stubborn (tong shuai or Jun Shi).

      Chariots have March 10 and scoring, isn't this a bit unusual for chariots? Usually have same march as move rating except elves. And I don't think any chariots have scoring ?(

      Celestial Guards: Interesting, they don't get command block? And this unit does 2 supporting attacks even when 2 wide, is this correct? for example 2x2 dudes get 2 support attacks. But if they are 5 and 2 people are on front rank, since they have 3 ranks, they get only 1 support attack. Hmm... I guess they could serve in units of 5 with 5 dudes to kill some enemy characters, with 10 attacks s5 ap4 they might just get the job done. Interesting concept and these guys are halfway between celestial and human I guess. As much as I like the concept, if the book were to be shortened this unit would be on the list of things to cut.

      I like the concept of auxiliaries, Ogres and horseman fit to this role quite good. To be honest, whenever I imagine an Ottoman themed army I think there would have to be Ogre Devshirme :D

      Monk warriors, yet another semi-celestial unit. I would consider res3 for this unit. I might also drop centreline convergence entirely or streamline it (just allow supporting attacks in all cases).

      Golden Phoenixes: Not much to say about this one, looks good.

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

    • 3.2. Illustrations & Inspirational Artworks
      Many players struggle to know what could go in Tsuandan since "Cathay", as a general name for medfan China faction, is rarely represented or focused on - and when it does it usually revolves around the same time periods. As a result it can be diffult to picture what each entry could look like and this lack of awareness means a lower demand, making it a risky range for manufacturers which itselfs restrainst the exposure of Cathay, creating a downwards spiral: the (at the time of writing this)[/i] upcoming Total War Warhammer 3 will hopefully improve this faction's visibility, but until then I gathered illustrations into this post to help anyone interested to take in some inspiration!

      Below are illustrations of various sources, types, approaches (esp. regarding artistic liberties) to give a better vision of what could go behind each entry from the book. Note that it is a quick, and still very narrow view of a really large range of possibilities!

      This post is unique in this series as it is the only one with material that is neither public domain nor my own: I took all the illustrations in the current message from the Internet and do not own their rights, please PM me if some pictures should be removed. For information, all previous posts, the Tsuandan book itself and the EW Patrol are illustrated only with artwork from the public domain and/or produced by myself.
      The main sources are Dragon's Armory (dedicated blog, I'd advise it for any who wants to dig deeper into the subject), Cobol Yu on Art Station (thanks @Monsieur Ramior for highlighting this artist's work!), [i]China Museum, Total War[/i] (Three Kingdoms & TW:Warhammer 3) and Warhammer Community (TW:W3), Smite and Wikipedia.

      Long Shi Zhe
      Chinese Long ("Dragon"), mighty magic-wielding spirits linked with nature - usually wind, storms and water (note: no fire-breathing or similar!); this entry can also be used for its counterpart, the Fenghuang ("Phoenix", again no fire nor rebirth theme) or for the Vermillion Bird (this time, totally linked to fire!)

      Tong Shuai
      Fighty commander; illustrations show commanders with armour from various periods, and a more fantasy take with magical mount.

      Jun Shi
      More of a stand-at-the-back commander, some of the illustrations below represent the famous strategists Cao Cao or Sima Yi, or strategists with their retinue.

      Wu Shi
      Religions are the main inspiration there, so there's no shortage of illustrations. I included figures from the traditional opera too, as this can fit well and open interesting model options! Of note, in Tsuandan I considered Wu Shi to not only be powerful with magic, but also to be deeply respected - hence a better statline than most human wizards.

      Tufei Tou
      This is the entry for "irregular" leaders, meant to include many concepts: ethnic leader, warlord, bandit chieftain, etc.

      Zhan Shen
      These exceptional fighters can be represented with mythical figures - even non-human - but also by exceptional martial artists and wuxia films heroes.

      Retinues
      Adviser & guards can mostly use similar inspiration as Jun Shi & Jade Dragons, so here are only illustrations focused on Artist. I'd have love an illustration for a calligrapher too, but couldn't find a convincing one online!

      State Troops
      Mostly made of regular soldiers, possibly supplemented by levies. They can be represented by most standard infantries and levies, and their weapon options fit for the most common ji (mix of dagger-axe & spear), spear, sword or crossbow (potentially a repeater version). Here again illustrations show inspiration from various periods.

      State Cavalry
      Mid to heavy cavalry, which can then be represented by various periods Chinese cavalry as in the examples below.

      Siyi Fighter
      Similarly to the Tufei Tou, they are meant to represent irregular infantries - be it ethnic/auxiliary units (wolf warriors for instance), mercenaries, bandits or rebels.

      Silver Dragon
      Inspired from heavy infantries, as shown in illustrations based on armour from various periods. Illustrations show the weapons of choice - guandao, spear, and the optional Fire Lance adaptation. Note that this type of professional/elite infantry is what CA & GW seem to be going for as main troops for Grand Cathay, while in Tsuandan these are Special entries. Somehow most illustrations are for this type of troops, while most 28mm models are for what would rather fit into State Troops!


      Golden Phoenix
      Shooting equivalent of the Silver Dragons, relying on an early use of the powder technology - used as a small bomb rather than a propellant.

      Celestial Guard
      This entry can be represented by either elite-of-the-elite type of infantry, allow a more medfan approach or even older cultures as holy warriors (cf. illustration of the Shang dynasty infantry with axe!). Game-wise they allow a controlled use for Zhanmadao-wielding models (or similar greatswords) without breaking too much the army orientation.

      State Chariots
      Ancient Chinese chariots were extremelly large compared to the western counterparts, yet could be just as fast thanks to their build. These were typically used in Springs & Autumn or Warring States periods, but gradually disappeared afterwards - slightly slower than in western civilisations though.

      Warrior Monk
      Quite explicitly these are inspired from actual warrior monks, but also from wuxia and videogame representations. I couldn't find illustrations of the Monkey King's clan, but that's where they could be fit too! These are, in short, the level right below a Zhan Shen which is the penultimate goal of these martial artists practitioners.

      Nomadic Rider
      Light cavalrymen fit in this entry; inspired from the auxiliary troops used mostly in northern China, they can also fit light regular troops, ethnic horsemen or anything that could usually work with Makhar!

      Ogre Conscript
      Obviously not inspired by historical sources directly, they are the logical connection from T9A's fluff mentioning Ogre refugees in Tsuandan. This is a force Tsuandanese generals would not left unused! Additionally, these can map well to ogroid demons from Chinese folklore.

      State Engineer
      Inspired from the Shenjiying formation, these can be represented by historical Chinese handcannon wielder, including San Yan Chong which was extensively used during the Ming dynasty (even after matchlock guns were introduced). I could only find historical illustrations there, but in TW:W3 trailers we could see some models fitting in there.

      State Artillery
      All artilleries in the book are only but a very small selection of actual devices used back then, which also inspired the illustrations below.

      Yaoguai
      Any "aggressive" folk creature would go there - including any of the 4 evils (hence the flying forms, so there's no shortage of illustration - and the spiritual shape-shifting, undefined nature of these creatures implies a huge liberty for interpretation!



      Fu Lion
      Benevolent, sturdy and reliable counterparts to the above - often trusted with guarding temples and other sacred places. These can actually be represented by any of these guardian creatures, but Fu/Foo Lion/Dog are the primary inspiration, as well as for instance the White Tiger (even though it is usually represented as being of gigantic proportions - scaling down would then be necessary!)

      Xing Tian
      Beside the mythological creature of the same name, any (of the many!) giant beings can fit in there as well as large human-shaped constructs.

      Pagoda Beast
      Probably among the most unique entries in the book, they are meant to represent large beasts harnessed to carry shrines or other mystical devices. Loosely inspired from the Bixi, Dragon-turtle creatures that usually carry stelae, as well as southern dynasty war elephants, it was a tad more difficult to find illustrations for these!


      Some general illustrations:


      ← Return to summary

      Tsuandan Warring States
      Cathay for T9A!
      ----------
      :totems: BH Homebrew :totems:
      Beastly Beasts without PI!

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

    • Monsieur Ramior wrote:

      Just to report that Wargames Atlantic is gonna to lunch an "Warring State" range miniature:

      wargamesatlantic.com/blogs/news/new-range-warring-states


      You posted this news even before they sent out their newsletter! This is definitely something to keep track of, probably we can expect melee & shooting (levies & infantries, spears, sword & shield, dagger-axes, crossbows...!) as well as chariots and characters. I hope they could look into artillery and even fantastical elements, but even if they stick plastic kit for core infantries that is already awesome and very much needed!

      Bretboy84 wrote:

      new cathay trailer!



      Add Jezzail teams for your faction.
      Eheh every week until the roster reveal I keep track of every bit of news on warhammer community & total war, but you poster quicker than I did ;)
      It confirmed earlier appearances of Jingals, but this is a technology I am reluctant to include for Tsuandan. Several models exist for it but this is a much, much more recent tech than the one featured in the homebrew so it would definitely not fit for whole units... but perhaps as a champion upgrade, along with a unit-wise option for matchlock guns.

      Sheamnz wrote:

      just read through the book in positive amazement. Love the rules, detail to narrative and rules. Will definately play a game soon using this sweet book. Hope it becomes part of the 'official' pantheon of our sweet game!
      Very happy to read that :D don't hesitate to give your feedback, I couldn't play anything for months... and kind of suspect one of the latter change to be broken (Tsuandan Training enabling to "push" or "pull" a combat by 1" instead of reforming) so any bit of fieldtest is very much needed!

      @Eymuster thank you for your unit-by-unit feedback! Just like for items I'll take the time to make a thorough reply, and in fact the new section posted just above (Illustration & Artwork) is a prelude to it :P . End of this month or early November a new version will be released, so all this feedback is very, very much appreciated!
      Regarding chariots: UD chariots are March 10" / Adv 8" (a bit faster than Tsuandanese ones) and can be scoring; Tsuandan (/Chinese) are significantly heavier but can operate at similar speeds thank to their structure, but also more expensive (maybe not enough though...!).

      Tsuandan Warring States
      Cathay for T9A!
      ----------
      :totems: BH Homebrew :totems:
      Beastly Beasts without PI!
    • not sure if that interests you, but tonight we play with Tsuandan in a live game. starting soon.


      piteglio wrote:

      uhm we havent played in too long!
      it's time for a live game. tonight it's Tsuandan versus...

      see you on twitch.tv/veiloftheages


    • piteglio wrote:

      not sure if that interests you, but tonight we play with Tsuandan in a live game. starting soon.


      piteglio wrote:

      uhm we havent played in too long!
      it's time for a live game. tonight it's Tsuandan versus...

      see you on twitch.tv/veiloftheages

      Finally I could see the replay! Close till the end, that seems to be one of the many feature in Essence of War games ^^
      Some takeaways, don't hesitate to add more:
      • Chu Ko Nu: still unsure of the Aim 3+, wondering if 4+ would be more suited; at the same time they are the true damage dealers of the patrol so culling their ability to dish it out (as they *sometimes* do!) could be a problem.
      • Fu Lions: celestial creatures in general might be reworked in the next iteration, but still shouldn't change that much for it to impact the patrol... so hopefully the current version of these guys is working good in the patrol!
      • Tottenhammer's Patrol:
        • Sunna's blessing: I was wondering why you tried to cast it so often, understood it at the end! In FB Sunna's blessing causes D6 hits to enemy units in contact at the moment the spell is cast only, I'd assume this would have been the same there. This wouldn't have changed the game outcome, but probably something that needs to be clarified on the patrol spell as it makes this spell a lot more interesting.
        • Definitely a mob, which suit well the intention! Only light shooting, but two bulldozer infantries :D

      Tsuandan Warring States
      Cathay for T9A!
      ----------
      :totems: BH Homebrew :totems:
      Beastly Beasts without PI!
    • i liked the chu ko nu as they are!
      (by the way, what tones should we use?!) : D

      i cant really talk balance, but the idea is really nice. range 18 and str 2 are a good counter to aim 3 and shots 3. i think @Chack enjoyed playing them too!

      a pity we didnt let the lions shine - but it was good to see how their high movement can be tactically important. hadnt it been for them, Flagellants would have pulled another negationist stunt against the chu ko nu, for example.

      as for sunnas... i think you're right, and i played it wrong! I'll have to double check that (maybe it calls for a rewrite!)


    • Finally taking the time to make a more thorough reply!

      Eymuster wrote:

      I'm now checking the units. I'm trying to get a feeling for the units and the fluff behind and how they make a coherent army and not too complicated for oppponent.

      Reading through it is obvious some models are spiritual or celestial origin. Did you consider a blanket rule such as "celestial" or "spirit" and putting their common rules to this. Their common-ish rules seem to be; Magic resistance, hard target, Aegis 5+, channel and for some, fly.
      How this would help is, clearly point which model is magical, and from fluff point it would give a source or origin to these beings. Why is zhan shen so superior to any human (or even elf) character, because it is nearly a celestial already!
      Idum: that would definitely help indeed. A bit like how sylvan spirits are handled in SE or feys in the upcoming KE, based on the spoilers! I'll put up some propositions soon for this blanket rule. That'll probably be the opportunity also to rework their rules, perhaps rework the entries too to propose something more consistent.

      Retinue: First of all I love this :) But I would give combat bonus only to bodyguard.
      Idum: Thank you! I actually had in mind to reduce to a single model part line, then each option would add its rule (except bodyguard which would also get an halberd)
      Sworn Guard: +1 HP OR "Memorable Sacrifice: Immediately after taking a wound, but before any attempts to save it, you may remove this model part. The wound is saved"
      Idum: it originally had a similar rule ("Last Bastion" if I recall) but I couldn't formulate it properly, so it was replaced. Your formulation actually works as intended so that'll probably be it :thumbsup:
      Advisor: instead of combat bonus, may be give it a stratagem, or ability to change a stratagem for another, or another such strategic bonus sounds more befitting.
      Idum: interesting! The current effect is meant to represent the adviser being able to observe and find strengthes & weaknesses of an opponent and avoid the former/exploit the second, but it feels odd. Not sure regarding the stratagem as I'm afraid it would reduce the interest of having a Strategist, but that can work or another such more global and fitting effect indeed!
      Artist: I think, just extra command/rally range is enough, no need for battlefocus and magic range (I guess though, battlefocus means artist is a talented bard:))
      Idum: the idea is that this artist (musician primarily, but could be dancer, calligrapher or something else) helps the character focus and visualize, improving all its skills - so the primary effect was Battlefocus, but for 50pts this seemed a little weak; with the dice reroll removed from the Adviser though, the combo single dice reroll (to hit shoot & melee, and casting except miscasts) + BF seems very fitting.

      Core 25% I think Tsuandan army should have a larger percentage of core to show that its back bone is massive lines of infanty, a la three kingdoms.. As it is it seems we see a lot of MSU lists with supreme martial artists. Such super elite warriors in small numbers are I think better suited to the characters section. But, I get the allure of taoist warrior monks...
      Idum: I actually wanted to remove cavalry from core to force infantry, but I believe the 25% requirement as it is now is sufficient to "gently push" towards including some infantries without locking away other playstyles or infantry flavour (use more the elite infantry than the core, filling core with cav or auxiliaries for instance). If monks are a problem they should be addressed directly in their entry (cf below).

      Siyi Fighters: I think this is a dangerous unit (in right hands) as it is 180p for 10 models with: move5, ambush,scout, skirmish, feigned flight, strider, S4 throwing weapons...IN CORE. You can take 3. I compare to skink hunters with poison javelin and vanguard which is move6, skirmish, 5+ save, parry and poison jav 3+ for all the disadvantages of being a skink (res2, s3). 185p (and definitely not in core)
      Idum: they'll probably move to Special, considering the various weapon options for the basic soldiers/crossbowmen/horsemen it should be enough for the core choices. Ambush will go away by all means, too big a stretch from the army's global approach (even for an entry meant to break with the regular army methods).

      2x20 state soldiers with bows + 3x Siyi fighters with ambush,Pa Shan and throwing weapons is a neat 900p.
      (1125pts to fill up core, please let me know if I put 20% core somewhere - that'd be a mistake to fix immediately!)

      Special:
      Silver Dragons: I would give them the basic agi3 to make them more in line with normal humans. But, I would give them option for bows to show their veteran status. Similar to a unit of seaguard but worse. Also would consider stubborn (tong shuai or Jun Shi).
      Idum: each (regular) unit is specialised in a single role: Tsuandan promotes a single-minded approach to maximise each soldier's training time! (Historically, Chinese soldiers were usually specialised in a single role... crossbowmen were not even systematically given a melee weapon!) - so weapon options are mutually exclusive; initially Silver Dragons were more elite so Golden Phoenix got split as it made no sense for archers to have such melee skills, but since they were toned down it would make sense to re-merge them (Agi 3 seems fair especially considering the armours shown in the above post and easier to remember in game).

      Chariots have March 10 and scoring, isn't this a bit unusual for chariots? Usually have same march as move rating except elves. And I don't think any chariots have scoring ?(
      Idum: as mentioned above UD chariots are Adv 8"/Mar 10" & Scoring, so this is not unheard of :) although Tsuandanese should probably be streamlined to Adv/Mar 8", to tie them more with the regular infantry and keep a reasonable price tag.

      Celestial Guards: Interesting, they don't get command block? And this unit does 2 supporting attacks even when 2 wide, is this correct? for example 2x2 dudes get 2 support attacks. But if they are 5 and 2 people are on front rank, since they have 3 ranks, they get only 1 support attack. Hmm... I guess they could serve in units of 5 with 5 dudes to kill some enemy characters, with 10 attacks s5 ap4 they might just get the job done. Interesting concept and these guys are halfway between celestial and human I guess. As much as I like the concept, if the book were to be shortened this unit would be on the list of things to cut.
      Idum: they are the elitemost unit in Tsuandan, entrusted with the best weapon and armour the empire can provide; they are to fight against anything - big, armoured, demonic - without flinching. They're still human, although entirely devoted to their task so they wouldn't get the new Celestials rule mentioned above, just some of its effects (Aegis basically, Magical Attack either removed or put under the weapon itself).

      I like the concept of auxiliaries, Ogres and horseman fit to this role quite good. To be honest, whenever I imagine an Ottoman themed army I think there would have to be Ogre Devshirme :D

      Monk warriors, yet another semi-celestial unit. I would consider res3 for this unit. I might also drop centreline convergence entirely or streamline it (just allow supporting attacks in all cases).
      Idum: I'll probably drop Skirmisher and Centerline conv.; the goal of this rule was to make competitive a melee-only unit despite the skirmish formation and without allowing too much (conga line); actually they are not only meant to be human, but also encompass for instance Wukong's monkey army - but I couldn't find an illustration for that!

      Golden Phoenixes: Not much to say about this one, looks good.
      Thank you again for the feedback! Waiting the analysis on remaining units :thumbsup:
      By the way I am currently looking into a revision for Engineers/San yan chong, toning it down a little but increasing range to 18" to smoothe out their RPS a little. They'd be ok at 9-18" range, deadly below 9" (a little less than currently but still)! - and perhaps an option for simple handgun, and a Jingal upgrade giving Accurate & perhaps some other bonus (+X" range?)

      Tsuandan Warring States
      Cathay for T9A!
      ----------
      :totems: BH Homebrew :totems:
      Beastly Beasts without PI!