The time has come to listen to the whispers of the dark gods for they are not happy with how little love their children and followers have been received so far. So, once again, I have made a few suggestion on how the campaign of a race could improve. This time it is more about the mechanics, though.
But first some of my other works:https://forums.totalwar.com/discussion/268958/the-vampire-and-the-rework#latest https://forums.totalwar.com/discussion/267956/the-dwarf-and-the-rework#latest
The most important point since that is a point that does pretty much not exist. They are a horde and can create vassals among the tribes of Norsca. That is it and that is pretty much nothing. New currency: Blessings of the Gods
No big rework without a new currency. Blessing of the Gods can be earned through successful hero actions, destroying settlements, building portals and strongholds, winning battles, sacrificing captives and so on. Marks of the Gods
As of now the marks work pretty similar to how banners work and that is simply wrong. Now I have to admit that I am not really a friend of copy-pasting a mechanic from one race to another but in this case the scrap mechanic of the Greenskins is perfect for that.
Marks of Chaos would now be given to units in the exact same way as GS give their scrap-upgrade except, of course, you do not pay in scrap but in blessing. Heroes would get it trough skills, because mounts and other stuff and Lords would get it completely different. Now I think that Marks of the Gods should be more then a simple boost of some sort and that is because how, having a lack of a better word here, uneven the effects of the marks appear in vanilla:
Mark of Khorne: Works only if Leadership is not wavering or lower, Adds Immune to Psychology and +4% Charge Bonus and +8 Melee Attack
Mark of Nurgle: Melee Defence +8
Mark of Slaanesh: Adds Immune to Psychology
Mark of Tzeentch: Wardsave +12%
Just look! At! This! The Mark of Nurlge looks like nothingness compared to the Wardsave of Tzeentch and Khorne, even with the restriction with the Leadership, looks like a straight upgrade from Slaanesh.
That is why each mark does the following:
It gives a new ability, it increases stats but is also decreases other stats. I decided for abilities and stats to make things a bit more even between the different marks. It might not be the most lore-friendly approach but frankly, I stand firmly with “gameplay > lore” in this case.
Now, on the new effects themselves:
Mark of Khorne: Adds Frenzy, Increases Charge Bonus and Melee Attack, Decreases Melee Defence
Mark of Nurgle: Adds Regeneration, Increases Health and Melee Defence, Decreases Speed
Mark of Slaanesh: Adds Immune to Psychology, Increases Speed and Armour Piercing, Decreases Health
Mark of Tzeentch: Adds Fire Attack, Increases Wardsave, Decreases Armour Piercing Damage
The Mark of Tzeentch falls a bit apart from the rest of the group but Wardsave on its own is already very strong so no second increase needed, I would say.
On top of that, it would paint the unit in red, blue, green or purple and honestly, I consider this to be enough. Leave the fancy looks to the dedicated units like Skullcrushers or Hellstriders.
Now I was thinking that, instead of a flat-out +8 Melee Defence for example, the increases and decreases should get along with a % on it and it should always be the same amount of %, I was thinking about 15 in that case. That would count for every increase and decrease except Wardsave who is strong enough to have a lower number. Something like 10 maybe. Definitively less then 12 of the vanilla effect, since it would add Magic Attack on top of that. Horde mechanic
Horde gameplay sucks. It is still not good with Nakai but it is better compared to how the hordes of Beastmen and Warriors of Chaos work now. So their horde mechanic should work like it does for Nakai. Nothing else to say here. Portals
Now we get to the interesting part and it is all centred around settlements. As of now the Warriors of Chaos can only either sack a settlement or raze a settlement. Now, my idea comes, at least partly, from Norsca and the shrines they can build but it does actually mix different things.
Let me get to the point:
When you now conquer a settlement you can decide if you want to sack it and make money OR you can decide to raze it and gain blessings OR you can build a Portal.
Portals are, for all intense and purposes pretty much a Wood Elf Outpost. Small Garrison and only one building slot. It does, however, spread a province-wide chaos corruption. Now the difference between Outposts and Portals is that the latter one, only in major settlements, though, can be upgraded all the way up from tier 1 to tier 5 with ever increasing garrison and increased chaos corruption but only 1 additional building at tier3. But what can you build with such portals anyway? Well, there are ports, Fleets are a thing after all.
Now, as already mentioned there are differences between portals of minor settlements and portals of major settlement. Most important are two things: Minor Portals cannot be upgraded and cannot be dedicated to a god but do give a province-wide bonus to growth and chaos corruption.
Instead they have three buildings of their own:
Gatekeeper: Increases Garrison
Sacrificial Altars: Increases Chaos Corruption
Paths of Chaos: Increases Campaign movement range
All these effects would either only affect the portal itself or the entire region, not more.
Then we have the Major Portals, buildable only in Major settlement. As already said they can be upgraded from tier 1 all the way to tier 5 and provide growth, garrison and chaos corruption. Also a bit money.
But most important are the signs. These sign pretty much decide which god gets to claim this portal which in return decides the buffs and boost that will be given. Only one sign per Portal can be chosen. The sign themselves have three grades that are placed at tier1, tier3 and tier5.
Lets now have a look at the possible effects of the signs at tier 1
General effect: All garrison in the entire province will be given the Mark of the chosen god.
Sign of Khorne: Melee Attack +2 province-wide
Sign of Tzeentch: Wind of Magic Power Reserve +2 province-wide
Sign of Slaanesh: Horde Growth +2 province-wide
Sign of Nurgle: Replenishment rate +2% province-wide
As you can see, the affects are not much of anything but they do give a rough idea of how the sign would work. Now the next step of the sign would come with tier 3.
General effect: The Signs provide marked heroes. Khorne 2 Exalted Heroes, the other three god 1 Exalted Hero and 1 Chaos Sorcerer with the Lore of the God.
Sign of Khorne: Melee Attack +4 province-wide, Charge Bonus +3% province-wide
Sign of Tzeentch: Wind of Magic Power Reserve +3 province-wide, Wardsave +1% province-wide
Sign of Slaanesh: Horde Growth +3 province-wide, Campaign movement range +3% province-wide
Sign of Nurgle: Replenishment rate +3% province-wide, Physical Resistance +3% province-wide
Now the effects will be stronger and would differentiate from each other even more. And now we get up to final grade at tier5 but there it would pretty much only an increase of numbers of the effects.
General effect: Recruitment capacity of god-related Demon Prince will be increased by +1, Reduced Upkeep for marked or dedicated units, generates a small amount of Blessing per turn.
Sign of Khorne: Melee Attack +8 province-wide, Charge Bonus +8% province-wide
Sign of Tzeentch: Wind of Magic Power Reserve +10 province-wide, Wardsave +3% province-wide
Sign of Slaanesh: Horde Growth +5 province-wide, Campaign movement range +8% province-wide
Sign of Nurgle: Replenishment rate +5% province-wide, Physical Resistance +5% province-wide
Now the effects are not really that strong or anything support quite nicely. That said there is a BUT! Major Portals cost money and Blessings and never forget you need Blessings if you want to give your units, heroes and lords the Marks of the Gods. And you need them for something else too... Strongholds
Strongholds are very limited, there can only be constructed upon 10 slot settlements and would have an insane cost of money and blessings. But in exchange you get a fully functional settlement with an immense garrison. There would be 5 different version of the Stronghold, one for each god and one for Warriors of Chaos in general. Again they would have ports and their main building chain would grant growth, chaos corruption and a bit money as well as blessings but most important are their other buildings. But first, what are the differences?
Well every Stronghold that is dedicated to a god grants the same bonuses a Major Portal with a Sign of the same god does but stronger. Where a Sign of Khorne at tier5 could grant a Melee Attack +8 to the province a Stronghold could double the effect and of course it would also increase the recruitment capacity for Demon Prince of Khorne and, as a special case, a province-wide bonus on the recruitment rank for units of Khorne.
Also, every God Stronghold would grant access to a couple of unique units and every unit recruited would already have the mark of the chosen god but
marked units would cost Blessings for recruitment, just like it would cost Blessings to give them the Marks in the first place and only units that could receive the mark of the specific god could be recruited. Furthermore dedicated units would replace “normal” units if they would fill out the same role. I am talking Chaos Knights with Lances and Skullkrushers of Khorne for example who strike me both as Shock Cavalry.
On top of that you would also have limited selection of units from Demons of Chaos. But only some units and only the weaker ones. Now, to keep wit the god, lets take a look at a Stronghold of Khorne for example.
Lords: Chaos Lord
Heroes: Exalted Hero
Units: Chaos Marauders, Marauder Horsemen, Chaos Warriors, Chosen, Aspiring Champions, Chaos Knights, Chaos Chariots, Gorebeast Chariots, Forsaken, Chaos Ogres, Chaos Spawn, Chaos Warshrines, Chaos Giants
So, unless I have missed something, that would be 1 Lords 1 Hero and 13 units. But now we come to the special stuff, the additions than could ONLY be recruited if you give the Blood God this Stronghold.
Lords: Demon Prince of Khorne
Units: Skullcrushers, Bloodletters, Flesh Hounds, Skullreapers, Brass Sisters
You could pretty much change or add units as you like but I suppose you get the point and yes, I know, Skullreapers are from End Times but I do not care about that. What I do care about though, is that most of the Demons of Khorne would not be available at all. So no Skull Cannons, Blood Thrones, Bloodcrushers or whatever. We have Demons of Chaos for that.
But aside from that, the Stronghold of Tzeentch, Nurgle and Slaanesh would offer pretty much the same but in their own variation of course. Generally I would go with two units from Demons of Chaos and two or three units of Warriors of Chaos. That may now rise the question as to why should one even bother with the fifth version of the Strongholds, the Warriors of Chaos Stronghold? Well, for once, you do not need Blessings to recruit anything from that Stronghold and this would be the Stronghold for the units that cannot even have Marks of the Gods, such as Chaos Trolls, Dragon Ogres, Manticores, Hellcannons, Chaos Warhounds and a few others. Also, this would be the Stronghold to get a bonus on recruitment rank for your Lords in general. Maybe even for the heroes
This separation is another case where I would go with gameplay first. Patronage
Inspired by the religious mechanic of Total War Troy. Now above I have already written on how the Sign on Major Portals and Strongholds could give province-wide bonuses. Hell, they could even give faction-wide but it does not have to be like this of course, there is an alternative take. And it is this mechanic this would be the one that gets placed where the icons for Diplomacy and Campaign Goals and so on are. Now in this case Signs and Strongholds would not give faction-wide effects but Patronage-Points, not really happy with the name but I lack something better for it, which in turn could increase you relationship with the related god.
Here a picture from Troy.
Now I know that this sounds a lot like the mechanic from Norsca but hear me out: Instead for your entire faction this Patronage would be much more personal. At least in the beginning. Frankly, I will just copy-paste the names of the different stages for this one. Yes they may not be the most fitting ones but they get the message done.
“You do not care about the god, so why should he care about you?”
Effects: None – since you have done nothing to earn the favour of the god, he will of course give you nothing in return. This will be pretty much the starting point for all Lords.
“Yeah, you have done some good for the god, mortal”
This is the first stage, the stage where dedicated Legendary Lord such as Valkia or Sigvald would already start and where your generic lords would get their marks, once they have gained enough patronage.
The effects for all of the four gods are pretty much the same: The generic lord gets the mark of the god and recruiting units with the mark of the same god or who are unique to the god gets cheaper for both the generic lord and the Legendary Lord. Units from the other gods become more expensive.
“Your god is pleased”
Once your generic Lord has reached the status “Respected” with one of the gods he can only enhance his patronage with the same god. From this point on, the effects are divided into personal, army-wide and faction-wide but the last one is only if your faction-leader has reached this point. Also, these effects are only for the units, heroes and lords who have the mark of the god or dedicated to the god anyway. Even when they are faction-wide.
Khorne: Personal means Bonus VS Infantry, army-wide means bonus on Melee Attack and Charge Bonus and faction-wide means certain amount of Magic Resistance
Tzeentch: Personal means add Magic Attack, army-wide means a bit more Wardsave and faction-wide means more Wind of Magic Power Reserve
Nurgle: Personal means adds Poison Attack, army-wide means Physical Resistance and faction-wide means more Replenishment.
Slaanesh: Personal means Immune to Psychology in an AoE, army-wide means more Speed and faction-wide means more Growth
“Embrace daddies hug”
The highest gifts for the most devoted followers. All generic lords would be turned into a Demon Prince. The cost for Blessings for the mark and dedicated army-wide gets turned to 0. So this is only about the personal effects for Legendary Lords and faction-wide effects.
Khorne: Bonus to Melee Attack and Charge Bonus – small amount of EXP per turn
Tzeentch: Cost and cooldown reduction for spells – adds Magic Attack
Nurgle: Strength of Poison Attack doubled – adds Poison Attack
Slaanesh: Bonus to Armour Piercing and Speed – Bonus to Armour Piercing and Speed
I am well aware that CA might not get down the route of replacing a model in which case the Lords would just get the same stuff as the Legendary Lord.
Now, the above goes only for non-divided lords and legendary lords but what about Archaon and Kholek? They would get pretty much the same on each level but since they are Chaos Undivided they would be able to collect patronage-points with every god, like all Portals and Stronghold giving the same kind of patronage-points, until they have reached the status “Worshipped” with every god. In exchange the effects but also the penalties would be decreased in their strength and they would also need more points to reach a new level.
We all know that the roster of the Warriors of Chaos is non-complete, to say at least. Now I fully expect that almost the complete 8th edition armybook will be implemented. I wrote “almost” because I can see CA excluding some of the named characters at least. I would also not be surprised to see CA going deep into Forgeworld and End Times to get more units. I mean, we already got Age of Sigmar units with Armoured Squig Hoppers, so anything is possible, right? Legendary Lords
The three Legendary Lords of Warriors of Chaos are pretty good as they are now, both in terms of skills and effects. If anything I would further empathise Archaon and Kholek being Chaos Undivided and Archaon being the Everchosen but to do this the changes I have in mind, on how the currently work, would be pretty minimal. Probably not more then one or two skills per lord. Sigvald would get a new campaign effect though, that would resemble where he starts within the Patronage-Mechanic. Something that the other dedicated Legendary Lords, I say 3 at this point so that every God has at least 1, would get and I call Valkia, Galrauch and Tamurkhan for that.
One thing I would do, though, would be that every Legendary Lord becomes their own horde with own starting position. Faction that can settle can go away with not every Legendary Lord having own starting position, especially if the lore says the second Legendary Lord is an underling of the first one or something. Hordes not so much.
There is also something I want to take a look and that would be the focus-point of each Legendary Lord in terms of units. Archaon, Warriors, Chosen and Chaos Knights and Kholek, Dragon Ogres and Dragon Ogre Shaggoth are, again, completely fine on how they are now and there is no need to change that.
Sigvald, though, not so much. His focus on Marauders has a problem as they will be most likely not around for very long. Instead I want him to be a cavalry focused lord and frankly, he needs a mount for that. At least a Steed of Slaanesh. Honestly, I think that every Legendary Lord should get a “horse” as mount at least. Unless they have a monstrous size themselves, of course.
Now on the three new Lords I called, Valkia, Galrauch and Tamurkhan.
Valkia would get Sigvalds old focus on Chaos Marauders. Considering her origin, her duty and all the other stuff I say that would be much more fitting for her. She could do things like giving the Marauders in her army all Frenzy for example, even without the Mark of Khorne. Also, no mount for her, she has her wings after all, though I doubt she will ever fly. But maybe something to increase Speed and Charge Bonus will happen.
Galrauch is an obvious choice for me and frankly, him being a casting dragon is already enough. If anything at all, I would probably go for better heroes. Unless CA decides for some reason that Chaos Dragons will be turned into a unit.
Tamurkhan was a bit of a problem at first. But I would settle for a focus on monstrous units, thinking of Bile Trolls, Chaos Ogres and him possessing the body of an ogre and artillery because Chaos Dwarfs and his history with them.
I know, Tamurkhan is not armybook but the only other option, the one that is from armybook, is not even half as interesting as Tamurkhan is. Kind of the same situation as it is with Galrauch and Vilitch the Curseling. Lords
The Demon Prince would be a new lord option but, as already mentioned a few times, it has a recruitment capacity that could be increased through Major Portals, Strongholds and probably a few other things as well. I decided for recruitment capacity because I fully expect them to have an very strong stat-line, if nothing else. Also, a comparison of 8th edition armybook, the stats of all three lord choices:
Also it feels more thematic to me, when the Demon Prince comes only after your campaign is already running for a while.
The current generic lords would mostly remain as they are. Depending on which god you want them to follow, though they would be able to gain a new skill and afterwards a new mount. Skills would be as follow:
Khorne: Blood for the Blood God – Bonus on Charge Bonus for friendly units for a short time if they are within Character Aura.
Tzeentch: Whispers of Fate – Increases Wind of Magic Recharge Rate and Research Rate
Nurgle: Changing Body – Bonus on Physical Resistance as long as Leadership is not wavering
Slaanesh: Sweet and dark Desires – Single Target debuff
I was also thinking of adding these skills to the Legendary Lords of each god. And if they get this and the stuff from the Patronage-Mechanic on top of their unique skills anyway, I would consider them to be in a pretty good spot. Heroes
I have not much for the heroes but they would get the same skills and mounts the generic lords would get, though they would have to choose the mark through a skill first.
Now, if you say that all Heroes and Lords and maybe even Legendary Lords getting the same small amount of skills is not much, then I agree but, what else would they be supposed to get? I mean, I was thinking of turning the entire Eye of the Gods table into skills, mostly just stat-increase though. But after some thinking I decided against it. With the marks, the skills from above and further above from the mechanic and the mounts they would get enough I say.
Normally I would now present my idea on how the rework of the tech tree could look like and lets be honest, the rework is needed a lot but not this time. Too much is missing what I expect to be added but what I would like to see would a general tech tree and then four extra groups of tech where each is dedicated to one of the four gods. Also each of this four additional groups could unlock the recruitment of either a special hero or a special lord. CA seems have to take a liking in doing this anyway.
And hopefully CA is adding ALL the current techs back, if they should rework the tech tree.
So, I think this is it. I do not know how CA decides to tackle the rework of this race but personally, I would not mind they go down the route of “DLC for DLC”. After all, they just do not have the plans for it and we all know that plans can change.
Unless it is about Araby, because that cause is dead for good. Sadly.
Unless CA decides to troll us and puts them in as pre-order but I do not think so.