I promised (mainly to myself) that I would open a thread about unique game mechanics for the faction Araby and how I would like them being implemented. I posted a thread last week why I believe minor factions will be playable and I would like to go further and tell my ideas of how their gameplay can be interesting and unique.
Starting with Araby.
I think Araby could be a unique faction with an interesting army, combining human warriors and mystic beings like djinns, ifrits and other creatures from middle eastern mythology. There is a lot of inspiration that could be drawn from the lore and things that could be made up if we talk about units or interesting gameplay. I don't want to focus on units and army composition though as this has been touched at the faction speculation thread (https://forums.totalwar.com/discussion/169157/faction-speculation-araby/p1
). This thread will mainly be focusing on gameplay and game mechanics.
Creating an interesting game mechanic for Araby I focused on their theme which consists of the following:
But before we touch on those topics we have to touch briefly on the Lords & Heroes of Araby. There are no lords and heroes of Araby so I thought let's keep it simple. Also, disclaimer Araby and their lore are based on Medieval European ideas about the Islamic world and Middle Eastern mythology. I'm simply expanding on that.
1-Sorceror-Sultan Sulaymān king of the Djinns, a hybrid between a fighter and a powerful magic caster. Unique lore such as lore of sand or lore of winds, maybe a combination of those two. Focussing on AoW damage and debuffing enemies like slowing them down (drift sand, sand storms, wind blast, summoning a sand golem perhaps). Gives a bonus for Djinn units. Starts in the Palace of the Wizard or in the city of Copher. Has a horse and then an elephant or flying carpet as mount choices on higher levels.
2-Lord Hassan a duelist focused lord giving him poison attack and single target abilities similar to El Syf or effagee of the git. Maybe let him and his army deploy in vanguard like Vlad or has a chance of triggering an ambush battle while attacking like the beast men. The idea of this character is making him a sneaky assassin kind of character. Gives a bonus for hero action. Starts in the city of El-Haikk. Receives no mount.
This character is based on the dude who founded the Hashashin, the guys the video game Assasins Creed is based on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassins
1-Vizier the word comes from the Arabic/Persian word wazīr/vazīr which means minister. Most of the Sultans of Araby in the lore are lazy and let the daily rule and leading armies to their Viziers. That's why they are perfect for a generic Arabian lord. they should be infantry focussed, giving leadership bonuses and support their low tier infantry. Giving them a horse and then an elephant as mount choices.
You can give one of your Viziers who has a high enough level the title of grand vizier which will give him huge bonuses. Upkeep reduction, recruitment cost reduction, construction cost reduction and public order bonus in the local province and army.
2-Nomad Tribal chief, in the lands of Araby, is the various nomad tribes with the greatest warriors of Araby. Consisting of bandits, raiders and slave drivers. They are the best horse riders and the Nomad Tribal chief gives bonuses to the cavalry in his army, maybe giving them a charge bonus and upkeep reduction. Starts directly with an Arabian horse as a mount.
1-Arabian Magicians (sorcerors)
three kinds of lore:
lore of fire, harnessing the power of their burning sun I guess.
lore of shadow, real Arabian folklore with magic has an association with bindings of shadow.
lore of heavens, as it is basically the study of astronomy and the Arabs/Persians were quite good at it.
Flying mount in form of a flying carpet on higher Lvl.
(they do have a spell list actually Warmaster: Armies (2006) 1a pg. 49)
-Sand Storm - The sorcerer commands the desert spirits to engulf his foes in a swirling cloud of choking sand and dust.
-Mirage - The sorcerer creates the illusion of a huge host of fearsome warriors, bearing down inexorably upon his startled foes.
-Sunstrike - Bright beams of burning energy leap from the sorcerer's eyes and scythe through all before him.
-Curse of the Djinn - The sorcerer channels the immense power of the Djinn through his own body and lays a terrible curse upon his foes.
2-Hashashin will be a dualist hero with poison attack and vanguard deployment who specialises in assassination and misdirecting armies(goblin big boss, witch hunter type). No mount.
3-Nomad Tribal Champion, basically a mix between battle priest and an empire captain. Giving the troops a leadership bonus and assault the enemy on the campaign map. Getting an Arabian horse as a mount on higher Lvl.
Those are the small ideas for (LL) lords and heroes which fit the theme of a Medieval-based Islamic world and Middle Eastern mythology and 1001 nights theme.
For those who are still with me, let's continue on the gameplay and look at the theme of Araby.
This is one of the most important aspects of the Araby culture and should be one of the main gameplay focus of the faction and main source of income. Araby should be able to trade with all the races including norsca and wood elves without the Trickster’s Masque. Trade could be implemented for the victory condition, an example: Araby has to earn the amount of 100.000 gold through trade and has to have access to all the tradeable resources.
Their economic buildings are few to none, mostly buildings that improve their trade income. With the exception for a building called the slave market, which brings me to the second theme.
This is the second important income source for Araby in the lore. Just like Bretonnia needs peasants to improve the income of their farms, Araby needs an amount of slaves to generate income from their slave markets. You create slaves by sending captives made after a battle to the slave market, this option replaces the normal release captives option. You will have to choose now between release captives(for free) or enslave them. You can also generate slaves with raiding, sacking and razing cities. Creating the most slaves with razing cities. If you have a high number or percentage of slaves you will earn a lot of gold through your slave markets and get a recruitment cost reduction and a replenishment bonus. The downside, however, is the public order which lowers the more slaves you have. The number of slaves diminishes over time ( representing selling them and recruiting them in your armies) so you are forced to send your armies fort to capture captives, raid, raze and sacking cities in enemy territory to maintain your slave economy.
Another important aspect of Araby is their religion and their one god. All Arabians worship this god and there have been multiple holy wars and crusades between the old world and Araby. For example: around the year 1500 IC, Sultan Daryus-e Qabir launched a series of religious wars against the Old world. Launching a Holy war will be the main military "ace in the hole" of the faction. For those who played Medieval 2 total war, it will be similar to their Jihad/Crusade system. Your faction leader can issue a holy war and has to pick a target. This has to be an enemy city(maybe also an enemy army). When a holy war has been issued you have 3 turns to commit an army to the holy war. Armies that participate in a holy war will have twice the movement speed, huge leadership bonus, and no army upkeep or severely reduced to maybe 75-80% less upkeep. However, when your armies don't move fast enough towards the target they will have huge attrition problems due to a desertion of your soldiers, resulting in whole armies disbanding. The other Araby factions will also be able to join the Holy war and they are also able to issue one when there is not one already. You can join their Holy war as well, but there can only be one Holy war issued at all times. It will be a race who gets to the target first because the rewards are great and only for those that took the target down. When the holy war is completed, you get double the gold when you loot and sack and double the slaves when you raze the city. You get an XP bonus for all the armies participating in the holy war, public order boost in all your cities and improved relation with the other Arabian factions. But the most important you will reduce your decadence meter. Which brings me to the next theme.
The decadent rulers of Araby. The lands of Araby are full of decadent rulers who live in unimaginable luxury, served by hundreds of slaves, while others are great rulers and patrons of art and science. I like the idea of having a decadence meter which lowers and rises. Again Araby is a highly religious society and I feel that the people living in that society wish for a ruler who represents that as well. Decadence is a decay in standards, morals, dignity, religious faith, or skill at governing among the members of the elite of a very large social structure, such as an empire or nation state.
Gameplay wise I am inspired by crusader kings 2 for those who played that game with a Muslim ruler with iqta or tribal government. "Depending on your decadence level, your realm will receive positive or negative effects. These effects apply to income and troop morale. The standard decadence level is 25%, at which your realm will neither suffer nor gain anything from it. Going below 25% will result in your levies having a higher morale and your Demesne income increasing. Conversely, going above 25% will result in decreased levy morale and decreased demesne income. Both of these effects increase or decrease in correlation with your specific decadence level. If you go above 75% decadence, you may become the target of an invasion by righteous tribes who wish to usurp your titles and end your excessive standard of living".
In Warhammer total war it can translate in:
Improved troop morale,
Public order bonus,
reducing technology research time,
reducing chaos corruption,
but lower gold income (there has to be a downside as well)
Troop morale penalties,
Public order penalty,
increased technology research time,
increased chaos corruption,
higher gold income (gold is important for greedy rulers)
You get higher decadence when you
-sack and loot cities
-building slave markets
You lower your decadence meter by
-completing holy wars
-releasing captives for free
-Events which cost a lot of gold
So I think this is my post about Araby gameplay mechanics, sorry for the long post but for those who read it till the end, I appreciate that. I hoped you enjoyed it. I like to hear your opinions about it, and if you liked my ideas please let me hear it. I will do other gameplay posts about the other minor factions as well and I will be updating this thread when I know more about the vortex victory conditions.