Tsuandan Warring States | Cathay for T9A

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    • Tsuandan Warring States | Cathay for T9A


      TSUANDAN WARRING STATES
      Essence of War: Tsuandan Patrol
      Other languages: (WIP)
      BattleScribe file: (WIP)




      SUMMARY:

      1. Introduction

      2. Tsuandan Stories

      2.1. Extract from the Romance of the Walled City
      2.2. A Vetian's comment on Tsuandan
      2.3. Extract from the Record and Comment on the Cer Laen Incident
      2.4. A soldier's journal

      3. Models suggestions & Illustrations
      3.1. Models Suggestions
      3.2. Illustrations & Inspirational Artworks

      4. Inspirations & Army review

      5. Entries review and comments

      5.1. Succinct review
      5.2. Unit focus
      5.2.x. State Artillery
      5.2.x. Fire Rain Lanterns


      6. Armies Showcase
      6.1. The Elves of Gwain Celeda (► link to @arnadil's blog)
      6.2. @Idum's Tsuandan regulars [TBD]

      7. Battle Reports
      [TBD]

      8. Army Lists

      [TBD]


      1. INTRODUCTION

      First things first! As you guessed, this thread is dedicated to the Tsuandan homebrew project, and anybody wanting to take part in it is most welcome!

      The links in this original posts are always pointing to the most up-to-date versions of the book. Those of you that read the first iterations will see the drastic improvements that were made over time thanks to valuable contributors : @Calisson, @Ghiznuk, @Tyranno, @Bretboy84, @Sidereo, @Eymuster, @Monsieur Ramior, @Col. Tartleton, @DarkSky!

      This does not mean this project is over, far from there - SO FAR! The entries are quite stable now but don't let that refrain you from sharing any idea that cross your mind either to rework, remove or add units, items, mechanics, or something entirely different.

      This homebrew is an original work and does not engage the project or its vision of Tsuandan. It was then enriched and completed notably thanks to Mathias Eliasson's most excellent Warhammer Fantasy Battle Army Project, with his agreement ) and Quidifer's earlier take on the Celestial Empire.

      This book enables you to field a Tsuandanese army, with various degrees of fealty to the dynasty in place. They may be following official orders or acting on their own… Rumour has it that beyond the Forbidden Lair and large centres of power, the Dragon Emperor's influence quickly diminishes as one ventures to remote provinces – and even that some States are on the verge of questioning openly its sovereignty, implying the Dragon Dynasty lost the Celestial Mandate. Many governors and generals do not hesitate anymore, striking their own deals and engaging wars against other races and countries… unless, eventually, this apparent weakness and spot expansions are in fact carefully managed pieces of a grand strategy?



      Now brace yourself, for the Tsuandan Warring States are here!

      Tsuandan Warring States
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      The post was edited 69 times, last by Idum ().


    • 2. TSUANDAN STORIES
      2.1. Excerpt from Romance of the Walled City

      Liu Huidan (Romance of the Walled City - 912 A.S.) wrote:

      Lao Zhen, elderly and respected leader of clan Rong, gazed at Xiao Ning. Pondering his next move; assessing the woman in front of him. Not betraying any emotion or intent, the old man turned and walked out. Just before the door, he halted: not turning back, he simply told her to expect a messenger to bring her an answer. Lao Zhen then left, his two henchmen closing behind him.

      As she walked back through dark, endless streets with a guard of her most trusted associates, the many roofs eventually gave way to a small patch of sky. The weak daylight revealed the fierce, brutal determination in her eyes.

      She was already endorsed by four of the most respected families of the Walled City; through her hidden network she had secured promises from prominent generals in both Pengxian and Heijie garrisons, respectively two days north and six days north-west. She could count on her siblings, who held some power at the backwater trading post and notable pirate den of Heihai where she was born. She would strike fast and hard at the local government’s weakest strongholds, neglected for too long. This would garner the angry populace’s support and quickly turn into the uprising she sought to harness.

      She knew old Zhen accepted already: if not she would never have left that parlor. Rong was the most powerful clan of all the infamous Walled City and getting its help was pivotal to her plans, but getting it was deadly risky. Only thanks to her recommendations, manipulations, blackmailing and many, protracted negotiations could she get to Lao Zhen. Then, surviving this encounter after discussing such matters as they did was simply exceptional, for that is precisely what the old man saw in her.

      But now everything was finally in place. Soon a rebellion will roar, spreading like wildfire across the region. The province, State, Tianxia itself! The Dragon Emperor shall fear the name of Xiao Ning!


      2.2. A Vetian's comment on Tsuandan

      Elias de Rochebrune: successful merchant and famed historian wrote:

      Ancient, modern, refined, powerful, spiritual, materialistic: there are as many depictions of Tsuandan as there are travellers telling their stories. Yet, most are correct... to some extent. The Tsuandan Empire successfully conciliated tradition and technological development; the diversity of its lands and people, the length and richness of its history make these contradictions trivial facts.

      Often seen as a stable commercial power, any merchant who decides to lengthen its stay in Tsuandan soon discovers this vision could not be further away from the truth. Its immense strength is certainly not limited to business as could have told the Empire’s enemies throughout the ages, neither is it a stable, monolithic entity: instead it is best compared to a raging ocean, a fluctuating patchwork of states rising and falling, a land of warlords and rebellions entangled in bloody conflicts and political struggles - only united by the might of the Dragon Emperor, which alone can leverage the full power of Tsuandan.

      Yet, something happens. Over the past few decades, merchants of the Silk Road reported worrying information: easily dismissed, a growing number of stories from multiple sources now corroborate the hearsay. Some argue that the Dragon Emperor finally turned its gaze beyond its borders, as it was always bound to happen; others say it is, in fact, losing control as rogue states and warlords do not hesitate to attack foreign assets. Whether this is a glimpse of things to come or the actions of impetuous generals, a new power entered the stage… friend or foe, none can say. Behold the Warring States of Tsuandan!

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    • 2.3. Excerpt from the Record and Comment on the Cer Laen Incident

      Yue Lianbei (Record and Comment on the Cer Laen Incident - 877 A.S.) wrote:

      To the divine attention of Yueyin, Long Shi Zhe at the State of Hua

      Most respected and adored Long Shi Zheng,

      Please find enclosed with this message the detailed analysis prepared by your faithful servant for last year commercial records of alcoholic beverage trade. It would appear, after much scrutiny, that our sales increase objectives have been slightly ambitious. In particular, the elven faction known as Arandai have been importing large amounts (57,000 gallons per the records) of their wines, sold at unfair prices. They were asked to stop but they did not. This caused much damage to our own trade and made impossible the completion of our objectives.

      Be assured that your most faithful servant has already taken decisive actions to re-establish fair and balanced commercial practices. Please also consider the application of increased tariffs on alcoholic beverages from 5% as of now to 20% for Arandai wines, and as a punishment for their treachery a tariff of 7% is suggested on importations of raw material for magic usage, with a reassessment in two years from now. As per the second report enclosed, this will cover the loss caused by them over the last few years.

      Your most faithful servant,
      Gang Fendong
      Special counselor to the State of Hua
      ---------------
      To the attention of Diao Deng, Tufei Tou of clan Baomei, operating north of cape Leihai.

      Our administration barely reached half the alcohols sale target last year due to those Highborn elves flooding our market. Your brother Diao Pang received large amounts of money (2,150,000 liang) to solve the problem, but only ever seized a couple minor ships and stopped all communications since months. Clearly, he is a corrupt pirate!!!

      You are to sail immediately with whatever is left of your clan. Find your brother, slain him and bring his body back (it must be recognizable) as well as the totality of our payments to him. If the idea of failing any of these tasks crosses your mind, you should find motivation in remembering that when we released your group of bandits and yourself last year, we kept your son in our custody.

      You have until the beginning of monsoon season.
      Gang Fendong
      Special counselor to the State of Hua

      ---------------
      To the attention of Hao Zibai, Tǒng Shuài of the 15th army of the State of Hua, garrisoned at Tutang fortress.

      Dear Tong Shuai of the 15th army of our beloved State of Hua,

      As your garrison is remote from the court of our State, you are not aware of all the latest information. You need not know them in details. Arandai, also called Highborn elves, have provoked us repeatedly and were identified as serious threats to the sovereignty of the mighty Lóng Shǐ Zhě of the State of Hua over its lands, and through it to the Dragon Emperor himself. It has been brought to our attention that they have a small coastal colony, named Cer Laen, not far from the fortress where your troops are garrisoned. It has been reported that they have peaceful, even "friendly" interactions with local Tsuandanese but make no mistake: they are expending their web, planning their next bloody attack against us. Their so-called trade harbor (specialized in elven alcohols I have heard) is obviously a cover for a hidden army and navy.

      You hereby receive the mission to protect the State of Hua: build up your force and raze this settlement to the ground. There should be no survivor, Arandai or Tsuandanese, and every trace of it should be removed. Our people would not understand how desperately needed such an action can be: for that reason, remember to disguise the event as some hostile Dread elves incursion that you were sent to fend off but arrived too late. Once the deed is done make sure your own troops understand how vital it is, for them, to keep this little secret.

      For obvious reasons and to preserve the State of Hua and the honour of our divine Long Shi Zhe, this mission should remain off-records. Nonetheless, be assured its success will be remembered and that your next reassignment request will find a strong support in me.

      You have all my consideration,
      Gang Fendong
      Special counselor to the State of Hua


      2.4. A soldier's journal (second-to-last entry)

      Unknown author (Journal found at the ruins of Wu Ming village – 949 A.S.) wrote:

      Bathed by a late summer sunset, the jagged landscape is covered with the dense, uninterrupted bamboo forest spreading over most of this province. I have been gazing at the vista for hours. This is a soothing view, perfect for digesting the festive dinner of the evening: I swallowed a good pound of delicious, fat pork meat and drank just as much of that rustic rice wine made by some local farmers. Yet I am melancholic.

      The last six months have been terrible. Chasing, fighting, being hunted by the beasts that inhabited those forests. With the troop and a couple others units we were sent here at the southern border of the kingdom under the leadership of the old general Len Liangzi and his guard of honour - spouse since they retired - Gao Minhu. They were drawn for this last mission from their peaceful cottage, a hard-earned refuge after a lifetime of war. It has been an honour for me to serve under such honorable officers.

      They were gruesomely slain by some hulking minotaur, one month ago. The second in command, a modest strategist named Si Genban, took over and eventually completed the assignment. This is what we celebrate tonight. Yet, a new leader would soon rise and the beasts return: the only question is when. A decade? A year? Months, weeks, less?

      Nearly half of my fellow soldiers did not make it. They fell in ambushes and skirmishes, lying in nameless thickets. Now nothing but numbers on a mission report, soon forgotten.

      Will this be my fate? Will anyone remember my name? I hope to see again the gentle rivers and mountains of my dear hometown, and finally lay my spear to rest.

      It is night now. The festivities came to an end and their clamors waned. The stars are high and bright, the air warm. As I slowly fall asleep, I hear something in the distance. Somewhere deep, deep in this damned forest.

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      The post was edited 18 times, last by Idum: Rise of the Warlords edition ().

    • Superb!
      I noted that "FORBIDDEN ARMY" is named "Unfair Warfare" in the quick reference sheet.
      Actually, I found "unfair warfare" easier to relate to Sun Tzu thoughts than "Forbidden Army".

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    • Good catch, thank you! I just rechecked and found a few other mentions of it (Immortal Emissary), it's in the fixes to be made for next revision (probably within a week).

      Originally it was named Unfair Warfare, I changed it over worries of how it sounds (horrible when I -try to- pronounce it) but if it is understandable consider it back already! It fits the army and describes the category better, featuring unusual means to victory (at least for human factions) with spies, giants and/or otherwordly creatures...

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    • Hello, excellent work !

      From the lore sources you mention, it seems you forgot the one in the UD illustrated army book, that mentions the country having been ruled by human dynasties before the dragon-emperor.

      The tombs of those ancient tsuandanese emperors are guarded by the Terracotta Army.
      And up to this day, there surely are some partisans of the old human dynasties wishing to oust the dragon, who use ancient rituals to awake the Terracotta Army and wage war on the usurpers ! ;)

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    • Ghiznuk wrote:

      Hello, excellent work !

      From the lore sources you mention, it seems you forgot the one in the UD illustrated army book, that mentions the country having been ruled by human dynasties before the dragon-emperor.

      The tombs of those ancient tsuandanese emperors are guarded by the Terracotta Army.
      And up to this day, there surely are some partisans of the old human dynasties wishing to oust the dragon, who use ancient rituals to awake the Terracotta Army and wage war on the usurpers ! ;)
      Correct! First post edited, now it includes this (awesome) source as well.

      Love the idea of rebellion, it very much feels "Tsuandan"! although their goal would most likely be to set up a dynasty of their own: a political-religious uprising whose leaders seek, and have the ability to awake such hidden army - among other evils.

      Combined with a weakening central power and the rise of warlords hinted in the Warring States lore above, this echoes historical events of the yellow turban rebellion. A particularly violent conflict which paved the way for no less than the Three Kingdoms...

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    • Oh, and since we are at it, maybe some foreign intervention would be nice, like from Ogre Khans or Highborn Elves :D
      Don't know how that would fit in your timeline though ;)

      Russian Translation Coordinator

      Translation-Team FR

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      GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
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    • Ghiznuk wrote:

      Oh, and since we are at it, maybe some foreign intervention would be nice, like from Ogre Khans or Highborn Elves :D
      Don't know how that would fit in your timeline though ;)
      Only one such project at a time in the foreseeable future unfortunately 8-) Ogres (refugees probably) are enrolled as auxiliaries by some warring states, for now that's the closest in terms of foreign presence! Some entries, notably auxiliaries, can freely be interpreted as foreign troops.

      PDF updated in original post to include @Calisson's feedback as well as various changes, all detailed in the spoiler below:

      Version 1.10 (2020/04/08)
      Display Spoiler

      Army Weapons
      • Sky Shattering Device: range 6”↗8”; Str 5↘3[5] AP2↘0[2]
      • Nest of Bees: Str5↘4{5} AP2↘1{2}
      Special Items
      • Honour of the Ancestors: 50↗60
      • Symbol of Inexorable Balance: renamed from Celestial Balance Icon, 40↘30
      • Unique Treatise of Ultimate Deception: renamed from Treatise of the Ultimate Deception, ↗0-2 per Army, ↘a same stratagem cannot be in effect more than once simultaneously on a unit
      Stratagems
      • Disinformation: 0-3↗0-4 per Army
      Characters
      • Retinues (across all characters): 0-3↗unlimited per Army
      • Legendary Warrior: renamed Martial Perfection paths: Sword Saint, Thousand Fists, Nine Suns; Fly (5”,10”)↘(4”,8”)
      Mounts
      • Celestial Beast: Fly (5”,10”)↘(5”,5”)
      Retinues
      • Conspirator: renamed from Eunuch
      Core
      • State Soldiers: Bows 2↘1/model
      • State Cavalry: Halberd 2/model↘free
      • Auxiliary Tribes: ↘Skirmisher/Scout/HT(1) moved under Ranger option; ↗option of Poison Attacks; ↗Shield
      Special
      • Jade Dragons: Bows 4↘2/model, Thunderclap Arrows 6↘5/model
      • Auxiliary Cavalry: 150↗160, Throwing Weapons 4↘3/model, ↗Shield option, ↗Dust Cloud now causes Minimized Roll for Charges rather than cancelling Swifstride
      • Auxiliary Ogres: ↗Shield option
      • Warrior Monks: Fly (5”,10”)↘(4”,8”)
      Fire Dragons
      • Fire Rain Lanterns: rewording, Agi 1↘0, ↗self-inflicted wounds do not count towards combat resolution
      • Field Artillery – Triple-Bow Ballista: 200↘180, Str 5↘4[5], AP 2↘1[2]
      • Field Artillery – Scorching Mouth: 150↗160
      • Field Artillery – Fire Arrows: 200↘160
      Unfair Warfare
      Category renamed from Forbidden Army
      • Celestial Beast: Fly (5”,10”)↘(5”,5”)


      I am still compiling the suggestions for models... slowly :D
      Feel free to comment!

      Tsuandan Warring States
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    • Hum, that was short but here is a quick update!
      I'll let it as is for some time to gather feedback: the only updates will be hotfixes (hopefully none required: it's perfect already! :D ) and models suggestions.


      Version 1.11 (2020/04/10)

      Display Spoiler


      Army Special Attacks

      • Fire Lance: ↘the model must now use Halberd, Spear or Lance to benefit from it even if it has the rule
      • Thunderclap Arrows: moved from Jade Dragons Special Rule to Army Special Attacks

      Special Items

      General rewording

      • Fierce-Fire Offense Shield: ↗new armour enchantment (shield), 35 pts, 0-2/army, single use, 2D3 hits Str 5 AP 2 Flaming Attacks at Initiative 10
      • Honour of the Ancestors: removed limitation to Drilled units since they already are the only ones with access to banner enchantments.

      Characters

      • Retinues (across all characters): standardized cost, 50/model
      • State Commander: ↗gains access to Thunderclap arrows; ↗Student of the Way now also gives Shots +1; ↘Shield does not allow Fire Lance anymore; ↗Lance can now use Fire Lance
      • State Strategist: ↗gains access to Poison Attacks

      Core

      • State Cavalry: ↗option for repeater crossbow, 23↘20/model

      Special

      • Jade Dragons: Halberd 2↘1/model, ↗removal of model count limit on Thunderclap Arrows.

      Unfair Warfare

      • Celestial Titan: 430↘390, Paired Weapons 20↗30, 0-2↘0-1/army
      • Auxiliary Giant: 320↘280, State Training 50↗60, handheld fire arrows range 18”↗24”

      Tsuandan Warring States
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    • Hey there,


      After some (vacuum) testing it appears some options are subpar while others are overpowered.
      Post if you found outliers or suspect/worry about some, so far these seem the most problematic:

      Subpar:
      • Impregnable tortoise: +2 Arm vs. ranged is good, but preventing from March and limiting to infantry with shield less especially because such unit would mostly be anvils with respectable body count and projecting no threat, so not a primary target:
        • Can it be fixed? Remove shield condition, change to HT(x), remove it entirely?
      Overpowered:
      • Jade dragons Bow and Thunderclap: elites in armour shooting arrows loaded with bombs. Shooting only it is too good (bow 3+, each hit generates 1 extra hit Str 4 AP1 flaming) but their melee skills are also good.
      • State Engineers with Sky-shattering device (grenades): damage output/model is way too high due to Area Attacks (2x2) Str3[5] AP0[2], even considering 8” range…:
        • Increase option cost (+20/model)?
        • Army limit 5-8 models max?
        • Only some models/unit rather than all R&F, for instance only champion or up to 2 or 3 models?
        • Reduce to Area Attack (2x1) or (2x2) (or both, a… 2x1x2)?
        • Reduce to Str2[5] AP0[2]?
        • Remove entirely.
      Also, regarding the names. Is it better to keep as is with mostly generic, descriptive names – or rather to change it to Chinese or “literal translation”? For instance: Repeater Crossbow, or Zhuge Nu / Chu-ko-nu, or Rapid-fire bow of Chu.

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    • This is all very interesting, I would love to give a proper read and review of this tomorrow when it's not so late in the evening.



      Idum wrote:


      Also, regarding the names. Is it better to keep as is with mostly generic, descriptive names – or rather to change it to Chinese or “literal translation”? For instance: Repeater Crossbow, or Zhuge Nu / Chu-ko-nu, or Rapid-fire bow of Chu.
      This is an interesting question. On one hand, it makes them more unique to use the literal translation of Chinese (Also it tickles me to see a name I am so familiar with from Age of Empires haha). But on the other hand, would Tsuandan people speak Chinese and not their own language? Since this isn't the real world... it raises an odd question.

      Lord of the Hobby

      The Great Horde of Chaos <-My hobby blog Tyranno's Ride into the Steppes <-My Makhar hobby/army-list blog
    • Ok here is my breakdown:

      Overall:
      A lot of the rules are very long and complex. This can be a bit detracting for someone trying to learn them, and you might have to weigh up what rules are worth it. It's more advice than an actual answer though, that I will save for individual units.


      Immortal Emissary:
      Holy moly this guy is both expensive and tough. I am not sure if he is fairly priced or not, but I advise to look at the big Daemon characters to judge if he is fair. I cannot offer much help here personally.


      Crossbowmen:
      Alright this unit has two problems.

      Firstly it has no limit, it needs a limit or you can field an entire army of very hard hitting Cho-ku-nu and evaporate whole units through focused fire. Either through a percentage or a set number of crossbows per army.

      Secondly, the price of the crossbows is the same. As an Infernal Dwarf player, I can assure you that 18" range is pitiful compared to 24" let alone 30". Not to mention S4 AP1, which is very strong compared to the repeater crossbow. Basic crossbows should have a cost, and Repeater should be free.


      State Levy, Jade Dragons & State Soldiers have a similar issue in their being no limit for their bows (It's just not quite as egregious due to the lower strength). But both will need a cap to prevent gunlines.


      Auxiliary Cavalry:
      I assume these are based on the Yuezhi horse nomads that allied with China after the War of Heavenly Horses? If so then to save on more complex rules, may I suggest looking at the Makhar rules for Recurve Bows and Parting Shot? They are also based on a Central Asian horse-people and might have simpler rules, which will also blend more easily with the world of the 9th age.


      Warrior Monks:
      Martial Prowess is used as a name already, you might want to find something else that is more fitting for them.


      Whirlwind Catapult:
      A S5 catapult seems insanely strong. It says shots1 but also 3x3, so I am not quite sure what the intended damage from this thing is.



      Auxiliary Giant:
      The Fire Arrow weapon should probably make the Giant come out of the Fire Dragons restriction.


      Hidden Agent:
      Extremely complex and wordy, like really really long and off-putting. Plus I am not sure what warrants China having access to an assassin specifically over other armies.




      That's all I can spot for now. I didn't look at points costs due to this being so new to me, so I just tried to help with the rules as much as possible. Sorry if I came off as overly harsh or critical, but it was out of trying to help I swear.

      Lord of the Hobby

      The Great Horde of Chaos <-My hobby blog Tyranno's Ride into the Steppes <-My Makhar hobby/army-list blog
    • Thank you @Bretboy84 for the link and authorization to use the material!

      @Tyranno thank you for the detailed an constructive feedback, many good points I overlooked
      Below are first propositions how to move forward from there. It is numbered to make it easier to discuss only a single point, needless to adress them all at once!
      Display Spoiler

      1. Overall
        1. Long & complex rules: I'll do a Pareto analysis on word count or other metrics to trim this. Rewording, improved layout and removals will help: this is indeed primordial to keep the book accessible otherwise no one will want to play with or against
        2. Names generic vs. Chinese: the lore already uses Chinese (I used to live right next to Longjing!) so my concern is understandability vs. immersion: someone with no knowledge of AoE would have a hard time figuring out what a Chu Ko Nu is;
      2. Stratagems - Impregnable Tortoise: outlier, too many conditions; could be changed to giving Hard Target (1) or simply removed;
      3. Auxiliary Cavalry:
        1. Xiongnu (under Cao Cao) were intended but Yuezhi work as well! At first they were straight copies of Makhar Horse Archers but it felt odd: they are both stronger than "heavy" cav in core, and emphasize fast/mobile playstyle which is not intended for the Warring States. I aligned their statline (i.e. nerfed) and added throwing weapons options to fit models with javelins. Their role as auxiliaries in Chinese armies was mostly disruption which is tentatively represented through their special rule:
        2. Dust Cloud could be changed to instead add a temporary terrain (1 turn), creating soft cover and minimizing charge rolls through. Then both players can use it (advantage for the one who places it of course), just like the Hereditary spell;
      4. State Engineer: Sky shattering device too strong: reduce to Area (1x2) or (2x1) and/or Str change, either 2(5), flat 3 or 4 (AP accordingly);
      5. Immortal Emmissary: vigorous and resilient rather than strong and tough as other dragons. Sentient, it has demon-like attributes like other Celestial entries of the book and compares to DL Courtesan or WDG Herald. It is one of the few source of Str >5 in the book hence the heavier pricetag. No idea if this is fair either way, it has to be tested out!
      6. Jade Dragons: shooting version makes them too good at everything: it will be split in two entries, melee/range;
      7. Warrior Monks: Martial Prowess is already used; proposed name: Tao Forms (Mantis, Boar, Eagle, Turtle)
      8. Whirlwind Catapult: Str 5 AP 2 too strong; should absolutely be nerfed. Proposed Str 4 AP 1 (=DH runed cata but smaller area)
      9. Auxiliary Giant with Fire Arrows: could count under Fire Dragons. Initially it did but based on Imperial Giant with Volley Gun, this was removed. Still limited to 0-2, if there is still spam potential it should count under Fire Dragons.
      10. Hidden Agent: it is a spy, creating a "phantom threat" rather than an assassin. Hopefully it allows and encourages counterplay to minimise its potential, while giving a dilemma for the owner to reveal it or not. The importance of spying in ancient China and its prominence in the Art of War is the reason for it being here (Total War: Three Kingdoms added a whole aspect just for it, contributing nicely to the atmosphere). That being said I agree with you and am not satisfied by the entry as it is, yet I'd like to try some things before removing it entirely. Maybe making it an item or stratagem?
      11. Crossbowmen: crossbow superior to repeater crossbow, should be represented in point cost. Proposed +3 pts/model for crossbow due to superior Str, AP and near double range;
      12. Bows (Levy, Soldiers, Jade Dragons) and Repeater/Crossbows (Crossbowmen, Conspirator retinue): should be capped. To count under a specific category (Steel Rain 30% on the model of EoS auxiliaries) and/or hard cap (0-X units/army or 0-Y models/army).


      Tyranno wrote:

      That's all I can spot for now. I didn't look at points costs due to this being so new to me, so I just tried to help with the rules as much as possible. Sorry if I came off as overly harsh or critical, but it was out of trying to help I swear.
      No worries, these are all healthy critics: positive, negative or even simple questions to challenge existing propositions are both welcome and needed.
      Thank you so much for the time you took to read through, analyse and post a detailed feedback as you already did :thumbsup:

      Tsuandan Warring States
      Cathay for T9A!
      ----------
      :totems: BH Homebrew :totems:
      Beastly Beasts without PI!
    • Not unlikely that you have already spotted them, but the Dragon Empire miniatures from Titanforge fit this army perfectly! I have all the STLs for them and fell in absolute love, but there was no way to field them yet in T9A.

      The Dragon Empire is more of a mild blend of Chinese and Japanese in terms of aesthetics, but I really do like them and already found some applications for your specific army. :)

      STLs: myminifactory.com/users/TitanForgeMiniatures

      Physical models: titan-forge.com/92-dragon-empire
      cuncta fluunt
    • Sidereo wrote:

      Not unlikely that you have already spotted them, but the Dragon Empire miniatures from Titanforge fit this army perfectly! I have all the STLs for them and fell in absolute love, but there was no way to field them yet in T9A.

      The Dragon Empire is more of a mild blend of Chinese and Japanese in terms of aesthetics, but I really do like them and already found some applications for your specific army. :)

      STLs: myminifactory.com/users/TitanForgeMiniatures

      Physical models: titan-forge.com/92-dragon-empire
      Yes! I didn't have the STLs (neither knew they were available!), thank you! I, uh, didn't advance much on the models suggestions - these links will be up there ;)
      This range is awesome, I'm also looking at Watchful I studio and Zenit miniatures (their Katai Empire kickstarter, which should be on their store at some point) - hopefully the dimensions and proportions work well together

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

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

    • New version is up!

      Big visual changes with illustrations and unique logos! Using traditional paintings and extracts from the Huolon Jing, slightly modified to work together as intended. Everything is Public Domain ;)
      Characters got proper immersive names for which I thank my wife 8-) . They are recognizable from their statlines and options; other entries the names stay as they are to ensure a good understanding of what each is.

      Thanks to @Tyranno feedback and combined with the issues I mentioned previously, this version also comes with deeper changes. The Changelog in spoilers describes all in details, here is the short version:
      • Removal of several special rules (down -20% from the previous version). It is now in line with the official slim books on that matter;
      • Stratagems changes: Impregnable Tortoise (ranged defense) becomes Fiery Horse (charge/pursuit/flee boost), Stoic Porcupine (melee defensive boost) now also alters the target unit's offense, directly based on the amount of attacks they dodged!
      • Special Weapon removed: Sky Shattering device (grenade);
      • Long Shi Zhe, the dragon-type character, now is a "normal" wizard rather than having a complicated pre-defined spell selection;
      • Jade Dragons now melee-only, Opal Phoenixes are the new elite archery with a profile adjusted accordingly;
      • Whirlwind catapult "Bomb" mode now set to Str 4 AP 1;
      • Auxiliary Giant with Fire Arrows counts towards Fire Dragons, to mirror that its Fire Arrow has been brought up to match the normal one with 1/3 range reduction;
      • Bows on Levy have been capped and improved, taking example on goblin with bows; by analogy with core orcs, bows on soldiers have not been capped; crossbowmen have been capped, crossbows are now more expensive than chu ko nu (+1/model) and the allowance for Fire Dragon got reduced.
      Changelog:
      Display Spoiler

      Version 1.20 (2020/04/28)
      Illustrations: all illustration are in the public domain (traditional paintings)
      Renamed: San Yan Chong (Nest of Bees), Chu Ko Nu (Repeater Crossbow), Last Bastion (Devoted, Guard of Honour sp. Rule), Tao Forms (Martial Prowes, Warrior Monks sp. Rule), Giant Fire Arrows (Handheld Fire Arrows, Aux. Giant option), Lóng Shǐ Zhě (Immortal Emissary, litt. “dragon emissary”), Tǒng Shuài (State Commander, “commander), Jūn Shī (State Strategist, “military advisor”), Wū Shī (Venerable Sage, “Wizard), Zhàn Shén (Legendary Warrior, “God-tier fighter”), War Chariot (Shock Chariot), Bandits (Rangers, Aux. Tribe option).
      Universal Rules
      • Line of Command: ↘only Drilled characters give their Discipline to a Line of Command, ↘only the BSB gives Rally Around the Flag within a Line of Command
      • Art of War: removed, limitation directly included in each model’s options
      Weapons
      • Sky Shattering Device: removed, too little added value compared to other options from the book
      Stratagems
      • Simple Stratagems: all stratagems not identified as advanced are now identified as simple
      • Impregnable Tortoise: removed, too anecdotal with several conditions and limitations
      • Fiery Horse: new movement stratagem, maximized roll for charge/flee/pursuit
      • Elusive Eel: ↘removal of minimized pursuit roll for enemy unit, 40↘30
      • Stoic Porcupine: changed mechanic – foregoes all attacks. Loses Devastating Charge, gains Distracting & Lightning reflexes: each failed to-hit roll against this unit in melee immediately generates allows it one attack
      • Ferocious Tiger: ↗not limited to R&F anymore
      • Vicious Snake: ↗not limited to R&F anymore
      Special Items
      • Symbol of Inexorable Balance: removed, too generic
      • Unique Treatise of Ultimate Deception: 100↘80 (double of any stratagem due to flexibility)
      Characters
      • Lóng Shǐ Zhě: removal of Will of the Eastern Legend; Wizard Adept, option Master, Druidism and Pyromancy; Battle Standard Bearer changed to Rally Around the Flag
      • Tǒng Shuài: removal of Second in Command; Thunderclap Arrows 5↗10
      • Jūn Shī: removal of Third in Command; ↗item allowance increased to 150 if General
      • Wū Shī: Celestial Beast mount 30↗40
      • Zhàn Shén: Cannot be Stomped (too agile!)
      Character Mounts
      • Command Chariot: removal of Command Chariot special rule; ↗gains Line of Command
      Character Retinues – Rewording; ↘retinue is now removed if the Character is killed, each retinue is capped (Guard 0-2, others 0-1)
      • Guard of Honour: removal of Personal Champion
      • Artist: Inspiring Arts merged with Artist of Renown; ↘Battle Focus only for Character, removed Stand Behind
      Core
      • State Levy: Bow (5+)↘(4+) 1↗2/model ↘0-100/army; 200↘150pts; 30-60↘20-40 models
      • State Soldiers: 210↘200pts, 10↗11/extra model
      • State Crossbowmen: Crossbow free↗1/model, 150↘130pts, 10-30↘10-20 models, ↘0-3 units/army
      • State Cavalry: Chu Ko Nu (5+)↘(4+) 2↗4/model ↘cannot be combined with other weapon option or shield, ↗gains access to San Yan Chong (counts towards Fire Dragon)
      • Auxiliary Tribe: weapon options do not replace Shield
      Special
      • Jade Dragons: removal of ranged options
      • Opal Phoenixes: new unit (former ranged Jade dragons), 18↘14/model, ↘soldier-level melee skills, Thunderclap arrows 5↗8/model, ↘0-3/army
      • Auxiliary Cavalry: Dust Cloud changed from Special Attack to (temporary) Terrain Feature ↘subject to movement condition ↘no minimized roll for charging through
      • Warrior Monks: forms named Mantis/Boar/Turtle/Eagle; ↗each form additionally boosts a “soft” stat, addition of Light Troops, removal of Magical Attacks


      Fire Dragons – Category allowance 30%↘20%
      • State Engineers: Landmines ↘must be centred within 12” and inflict D6↗2D3 hits
      • Field Artillery: Whirlwind catapult first fire mode Str 5↘4 AP 2↘1, Triple Bow Ballista triple shot Area Attack (2x1) → (1x2)
      • Fire Rain Lanterns: extra model 10↗15, Cannot be Stomped (they constantly hover)


      Unfair Warfare
      • Hidden Agent: rewriting and revision, profile depends on infiltrated unit
      • Celestial Titan: removed Blind Rage
      • Auxiliary Giant: Giant fire arrows 2D6*2↗2D6*3, ↘counts towards Fire Dragons





      Every comment is most welcome! :thumbsup:


      EDIT: a few additional changes were made to this release over weekend for wording consistency, typos and a modifications that were missed from the file available in the links

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

      The post was edited 5 times, last by Idum ().