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About ranged units from Cathay

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  • DraxynnicDraxynnic Registered Users Posts: 11,359
    Abmong said:

    Krunch said:


    Ehhhhhhhhhhhhh that's probably a bit too ridiculous.

    Why would it be too ridiculous? It's a real medieval Chinese weapon. Warhammer seems to reflect that period when the Middle Kingdom was a lot more advanced technologically than the West, before the later part of the Age of Sail when the European industrial revolution overtook older Chinese innovations.

    Only reason it would be ridiculous is if there's an arbitrary want for Cathay to not be as technologically advanced as the Old World...
    Eh. It's not immediately obvious due to all the anachronisms (which are somewhat justified, since the Empire's main enemies aren't keeping up technologically speaking, which means, for instance, that knights won't become obsolete), but the Empire is well into the Age of Sail technologically speaking. Field mortars with explosive shells (ie, what the Empire uses) were invented in the early 18th century by a Dutchman, for instance. And there is reference to the Cathayans having a javelin-firing cannon - the question is whether this is 'typical' of the Cathayan technology level or another anachronism.

    That said, I could definitely see the thunder barrel gun as a potential TWW weapon. It's basically a repeater handgun with a shield. Maybe it will be short range and/or inaccurate to account for the shield making it harder to aim, but that's just balancing.
    Ichon said:


    Quicklime cannons might be a thing as well- cannons that shoot a canister of quick lime which has only 120 range but the quick lime causes temporary blindness and fear for 10 seconds. Basically for each 'hit' the unit affected, if it is ranged has some models unable to use their ranged weapons for 10 seconds and 'blind' lowers MA and MD by 20% for 10 seconds. The cannon would be slow firing so not able to totally silence a ranged unit but make the targeted unit 50% as effective if the cannon had a 16 second reload time. VS melee infantry it could target cavalry but be barely useful other than the 'fear' effect as a 16 second reload and -20% MA/MD for cavalry not in melee is nearly useless.

    There's already a 'blind' mechanic in the game (Bastilodon Solar Engines), so they could probably borrow from that.

  • Tyrant#1234Tyrant#1234 Registered Users Posts: 3,928
    Draxynnic said:


    Eh. It's not immediately obvious due to all the anachronisms (which are somewhat justified, since the Empire's main enemies aren't keeping up technologically speaking, which means, for instance, that knights won't become obsolete), but the Empire is well into the Age of Sail technologically speaking. Field mortars with explosive shells (ie, what the Empire uses) were invented in the early 18th century by a Dutchman, for instance. And there is reference to the Cathayans having a javelin-firing cannon - the question is whether this is 'typical' of the Cathayan technology level or another anachronism.

    That said, I could definitely see the thunder barrel gun as a potential TWW weapon. It's basically a repeater handgun with a shield. Maybe it will be short range and/or inaccurate to account for the shield making it harder to aim, but that's just balancing.

    I'm not strictly opposed to the idea that the Cathay roster would make less use of gunpowder weapons than the Empire. There are just better ways of explaining their absence rather than just saying that they didn't have the knowhow to innovate further. To use a real world example, one of the reasons China lagged behind in developing cannons compared to the West is because China's way of building walls made cannons virtually useless. The walls of important Chinese cities were made of packed earth 10-20 meters thick at the base and 5-10 Meters thick at the top. This meant Cannons would do little to the walls in a seige situation. Western Castles however had 2.5-6 Meter walls which could be toppled by developing larger cannons, that's why there was value in improving them. And later those larger cannons were put on ships and the rest is history.

    So for Cathay, there should be some other reason why they saw no value in further developing or widespread use of gunpowder weapons. Honour is rather a weak excuse plus it's already being claimed by the Bretonnians. Maybe their magic is just that good that they saw little value in mechanical and gunpowder tech. Or maybe Cathay does make use of lots of gunpowder weapons, but used more as psychological effect and short ranged burst weapons rather than long range sniping types used by Empire and Dwarfs. And less mechanical guns... Something more entwined with magic. I think there was mention of Cathay having enchanted fireworks and things of that nature. Yes to Cathay having lots of gunpowder weapons, but perhaps just more exotic uses so we don't just see guns everywhere which would be rather boring for variety's sake. But I could see thrown firecrackers being used to cause terror even against daemons. It's what firecrackers were/are used for in Chinese tradition...
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  • DraxynnicDraxynnic Registered Users Posts: 11,359
    edited April 2021
    From my perspective, a good part of it is factional identity. Technology is basically the Empire's "thing" - now, obviously they don't have a monopoly on it, but other races with equal technology are usually deficient in some other area that the Empire is strong in. If Cathay has as much technology as the Empire and all the other usual strengths of human and human-adjacent (read: elven) armies and its own unique stuff, it'll make the Empire look pretty poorly in comparison.

    As for the reason... I suspect magic will quite likely be the answer. The Empire only received magic after it had already committed to faith, steel, and gunpowder, and you start to see it in the magic war engines they've created: they're basically magic guns. Even the dwarfs haven't really embraced gunpowder as enthusiastically as the Empire has.

    Cathay, on the other hand, has had magic for at least five thousand years. That's given them a long time to really optimise the use of the magic available to them - sure, in some ways they're handicapped compared to Elves and Slann, but on the other hand shorter human generations means a faster cycle of new ideas. So it could be interesting if, while the Empire sees magic as an augmentation to a force where it's technology that's doing the heavy lifting, the Cathayans take the opposite approach - they view their primary strength as coming through magical sources (constructs, fantastic beasts, fantastic troop types like the Monkey Warriors and Celestial Dragon Monks) and gunpowder weapons are an augmentation to that and a means for more mundane soldiers to keep up. The enchanted fireworks might actually be a case in point here: where the Empire looked at magic and thought "how can we make a gun out of this", the Cathayans might have looked at rocketry and thought "how can we use these as a delivery system for a magical warhead?" (And if the firecrackers are infused with Light magic, they really WOULD be particularly effective against daemons...)

    That said, if dragons really are in charge, they might also be creating a strong conservative streak in order to maintain control - they might not want their subjects to have too easy access to weapons that can kill them, and might therefore be deliberately steering Cathayan weapons development away from that direction. Realistically speaking, Cathayan gunpowder supposedly goes back to when Nagash was still breathing - for it to have been around for that long without proceeding into modern warfare, I think there needs to be something creating a cultural pushback. So an interesting interpretation could be one in which the Cathayans have a lot of gunpowder weapons suitable for clearing out infantry and cavalry, but their method of countering big monsters is for large constructs or a dragon to engage the monster.
  • Tyrant#1234Tyrant#1234 Registered Users Posts: 3,928
    I really don't think Cathay would be ruled by Dragons or Dragons in human form. That would seem too silly for my taste.
    The actual "Dragon/god in human form" Emperor, if there ever was one would hopefully be a historical background figure, something akin to Sigmar rather than the reigning Emperor. The Dragon Blooded could claim descent from him and have dragon blood, but not actual dragons like the original was.

    Having actual dragonmen or dragons controlling Cathay would just seem too bombastic in your face jarring IMO. Plus there really needs to be some retconning if GW were to go that route since Prince Xian Ha Feng from the Nagash books presented as human and didn't have any magical powers as far as we were made aware. And he was the son of a Dragon Emperor...
    1234 I declare a thumb war! 5678 I use this hand to mass-debate!
  • DraxynnicDraxynnic Registered Users Posts: 11,359
    Well, there are different levels of being 'in charge'. We know that dragons have fought as part of Cathayan armies (from the reference in the 8E book), which means they have some relationship with the Cathayans, and it's likely that this relationship will bring influence of some sort. The formal political structure may or may not not actually be dragons in disguise, but I suspect they'll still have a lot of influence either way, possibly enough to influence weapon development.

    Ultimately, if we're going to have Cathay having gunpowder for four thousand years without proceeding to (and past) modern weapons technology, realistically speaking there has to be something holding them back.
  • Tyrant#1234Tyrant#1234 Registered Users Posts: 3,928
    Hmmm I'd forgotten Dragons in WH can speak. Maybe Cathay has the kind of relationship HE and WE have with the Dragons, like looking to them as wise sages and advisors. Still not sure about Dragons being directly involved with everyday running of Cathay or puppeteering them.

    Maybe the Cathayan authorities largely banned them because some were using them to kill Dragons. That could work as an explanation.
    1234 I declare a thumb war! 5678 I use this hand to mass-debate!
  • Naygir_KillazNaygir_Killaz Registered Users Posts: 1,550
    edited April 2021
    I'm pretty sure the Empire's thing is that it has the college of mages. No human civilization in Warhammer has as much diverse schools of magic as the empire.
    Technology wise, I think even the Southern Realms trumps the Empire.

    On a random thought, I think it's quite amusing that reading about all these guns that ming china had all this access to but they were still soundly defeated by the jurchens (manchus) and their horse archers.
    Goes to show that technology can't replace tactical prowess.
    Either that or China is just really weak against steppe invaders.
    Post edited by Naygir_Killaz on
  • talonn#7575talonn#7575 Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 2,824
    maccabbee said:

    I'm pretty sure the Empire's thing is that it has the college of mages. No human civilization in Warhammer has as much diverse schools of magic as the empire.
    Technology wise, I think even the Southern Realms trumps the Empire.

    On a random thought, I think it's quite amusing that reading about all these guns that ming china had all this access to but they were still soundly defeated by the jurchens (manchus) and their horse archers.
    Goes to show that technology can't replace tactical prowess.
    Either that or China is just really weak against steppe invaders.

    If you learn about their history, most of their fallout is largely due to internal conflict/rebellion/corruption.. (looking at you,Song and Ming Dynasties)
  • Naygir_KillazNaygir_Killaz Registered Users Posts: 1,550
    talonn said:

    maccabbee said:

    I'm pretty sure the Empire's thing is that it has the college of mages. No human civilization in Warhammer has as much diverse schools of magic as the empire.
    Technology wise, I think even the Southern Realms trumps the Empire.

    On a random thought, I think it's quite amusing that reading about all these guns that ming china had all this access to but they were still soundly defeated by the jurchens (manchus) and their horse archers.
    Goes to show that technology can't replace tactical prowess.
    Either that or China is just really weak against steppe invaders.

    If you learn about their history, most of their fallout is largely due to internal conflict/rebellion/corruption.. (looking at you,Song and Ming Dynasties)
    Read up on the ming and it seems that their downfaill was caused by a sudden wave of crop failures, floods and the resulting great plague of the 17th century.

    That said, the ming did experience a number of catastrophic defeats on the field against their steppe neighbors despite numerical and technological superiority. There's even a meme among the chinese about the ming acting like the tough guy of asia but in actuality was a punching bag for a lot of them, just like in a similar vein to the Byzantine empire in the west.
  • DraxynnicDraxynnic Registered Users Posts: 11,359
    edited April 2021
    With a lot of those memes, you need to consider the political context of why those memes propagate. The Byzantine Empire did fairly well for itself in the face of increasingly bad geopolitical circumstances due to circumstances that were largely outside their control... but Central/Western Europe didn't like them due to the Catholic/Orthodox split so it was convenient to regard them as such even though the Byzantine Empire was one of the corks that kept outside invaders out of the rest of Europe long enough to become the Europe we recognise. Furthermore, the Byzantines knew that they didn't have the numbers that the Romans could rely on, and rebuilt their military accordingly.

    Post edited by BillyRuffian#6250 on
  • DraxynnicDraxynnic Registered Users Posts: 11,359
    maccabbee said:

    I'm pretty sure the Empire's thing is that it has the college of mages. No human civilization in Warhammer has as much diverse schools of magic as the empire.
    Technology wise, I think even the Southern Realms trumps the Empire.

    Also wanted to comment here:

    Wrong on both counts.

    Starting with the easier one first: Southern Realms technology is not on quite the same arc as the Empire's, because the Birdmen are not a contraption that the Empire has figured out, but that reflects real life: when you have two nations in close enough proximity to have technological transfer, usually you don't have one that's responsible for inventing EVERYTHING. But on the whole, even if you exclude Steam Tanks, what the Empire has is well ahead of the Southern Realms. Clockwork horses, mortars firing explosive shells, the lens technology that goes into the Luminark, pepperbox pistols and handguns - they've got a stronger engineering bent in general.

    When it comes to magic: Having a wide range of magic lores isn't really a distinctive factor. I could go through a variety of explanations as to why, but the big one is that after you've accessed a set range of capabilities from your lores, the rest don't really make that big of a difference. For instance, in the case of High Elves, the lores that REALLY matter for them are High, Life, Light, and Fire. Why? Life gives you lots of durability and healing. High gives you a bit more of a well-rounded setup, with a bit of damage and a bit of healing. Light combines a bit of damage with the Net of Amyntok. And Fire works well in situations where you don't really need anything out of your magic but a few buffs and lots of damage (with the added bonus of synergising with other flaming attacks in the High Elf roster). All the other lores are nice to have for the flavour, and every so often one of them might be just a little bit better at handling a specific situation than the others, but those four lores probably handle everything the High Elves want from magic more than 90% of the time.

    Similar comments apply to the Empire. Light and Life are really the important ones for them, and those two are common enough that they aren't exactly a distinguishing factor for the Empire. The Empire doesn't have quite as strong a synergy with fire damage as High Elves have (unless led by a Huntsman General...), but those two and a straight damage lore like Fire probably provide most of what the Empire wants from magic.

    People have presented a variety of lists of possible lores for Cathay, but ultimately, if they get Life, Light, and Heavens (and there are valid arguments as to why they should), they're probably pretty much set. If they've got lots of gunpowder weapons that count as flaming attacks, maybe they'll want Fire as well, although it'd be a shame to see Astromancy get overshadowed given how much of the fluff goes on about how strong the Cathayans are with Celestial Magic.

    One could say that access to certain capabilities from magic are distinguishing factors - healing, good summoning (Beasts doesn't really count), immobilisation spells like Net and Warpgale, certain synergies like Kindleflame - but adding more lores once these factors are accounted for doesn't really contribute much beyond flavour. While it's definitely nice to have options, I don't think having three or four semi-redundant magic lores can really make up for another race otherwise having everything you have and more.
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