Welcome to... Fishmen?
Well, yes. Fishmen. You may now ask “why?” and I can understand you. To be honest, I was not really expecting to ever do them in the first place. I actually even had something else in the works but that one got crushed by the more or less (depending on when I decide to upload that) recent revelations about the map. Then I figured, why not going for the meme-race itself? So, Fishmen, here we are.
This was our world, once. Long before the coming of the stars we were peaceful and beautiful people. We lived at the shores and the rivers and the lakes and did not bother with gods. We lived under the water and close to the water. Make no mistake, we knew war and battle and hardships for the world had its own dangers back then. Most of them forgotten by now, some still lingering and some having found a master of unimaginable evil and corruption. But still, it was a good time for our people and we had a wise and powerful king that led us through the times and a young and bold prince to secure our future.
That all changed when the stars burned and the accursed “Old Ones” claimed our world as theirs. They talked about a “Great Plan” and that we had no place in it. We tried to reason but we failed and so we prepared to the greatest war we ever fought. At first we were even successful for the Old Ones underestimated our power. They underestimated the might of our king and one of them was slain, pierced through its heart by the trident of our beloved leader. For a short time, nothing more then a mere moment of hope, we thought we could win this war. We thought we could defend our world against the invaders.
Were were wrong.
Feeling the death of one of their kind, the other Old Ones pushed aside whatever they were doing and against the combined might of the Old Ones and their armies of lizard slaves we had no chance. Our king died and our prince, young and desperate, took crown and trident and even though it broke his heart, he led our people to safety. But the safety came with a price for there was only one place we would be safe. Safe from the Old Ones at least, for we had to flee to the dark depths of the ocean, a realm our old king forbade us from entering. But now we had no choice and we made a new life in a dark and cold place and we changed. Yet, things may have worked out differently over time but once again fate turned against us when Chaos came over this world. Much is spoken about the battles on the surface, little of what happened in our new realm. It was the incursion of chaos that sealed our fate. Barely recovering from our losses against the Old Ones we were not ready for this foe and our king knew that help was needed. Help was gifted. From a place even deeper then what we dared to run in our desperation, the Abyss, rose the Kraken and offered aid in exchange for worship. A pact was made. Our lives were saved and our fates were doomed. Now we have become monsters in form with only our King and his Queens, the ever birthing mothers of our race, resembling our old looks. For an untold number of years we remained in the deeps, rarely contacting surface dwellers and our cities being islands of light in an ocean of darkness. Yet, some contacts were made. Our king taught the High Elves of Ulthuan about the sea, impressed by the respect they had for it as well as knowing that the Great Plan had no place for High Elves outside their island and from time to time we sent troops to the surface.
But now has our time come. Our Armies are ready and our god has blessed us. We will return to the surface and reclaim what was once ours! We will reclaim our identity, our traditions, our life! The deep is coming!
And maybe, just maybe, we can undo the tragedies that befell our ancestors and return to the life we once had.
Masters of the Ocean
Teleportation mechanic. Instead of travelling the sea per boat, fishmen armies and agents simply vanish for a number of turns, just to then appear out of nowhere on their destination. This is limited to any coastal settlement or whatever is currently on the ocean itself. Also, no sea-based attrition of any kind at all for your armies or agents.
Downside is, only settlements with a port can be colonized. For everything else goes sacking or razing. Ports
Since you can only colonize settlements with ports, ports are no much more important to you. They will act as your main settlement building, being placed on every tier from one to five. They have the following effects, not counting garrison:
Income per turn +200
Growth per turn +15
Sea Corruption +2 region-wide which province-wide +2 added with T3
All effects are “per tier” Sea Corruption
So, if you can only use settlements with port normally, how fill you fare beyond that? This is now where Sea Corruption comes in. Basically, corruption has 5 thresholds where the effects are stacking:
Phase 1: Nothing big is happening here
Phase 2: Craftians can be constructed ; Attrition due to lack of Sea Corruption halved
Phase 3: Attrition due to Sea Corruption kicks in ; Attrition due to lack of Sea Corruption stops.
Phase 4: Campaign movement range & Replenishment Rate increased
Phase 5: Recruit cost -50% for Global Recruitment Craftians
The Vampire Coast has Pirate Coves, the Skaven have the Undercities and the Fishmen have Craftians. Though they are a bit differently and not only because you can only construct them if at least one of following conditions is met:
1. You control at least 1 settlement within province
2. Local Sea Corruption has reached Phase 2
3. You conquered the settlement
4. You already own it
No, the real unique stuff is best represented with a picture and as such I present to you the building tree of Craftians: Abyss Totems
When having conquered a settlement with at least 10 slots, you have a new option and that is to build an Abyss Totem. They come with their very own effects:
Sea Corruption +20 region-wide and +10 in adjacent regions
Income per tun +300
Replenishment Rate +20% region-wide
Melee Defence +5 to all units region-wide
Chance to Defend against Ambush +50% region-wide
Turn time of global recruitment -50% (at least 1 turn) region-wide
Comes with own full stack garrison Changing Tides
The battle mechanic. You can freely choose between the single effects, however there would a shared cooldown and all effects are temporarily. I was thinking about something like 20s for effect, 60s cooldown for non-chosen effect and 90s cooldown for chosen effect.
The Misty Sea: Gives Missile Resistance and Melee Defence.
The Frozen Sea: Gives Frostbite
The Storm Sea: Gives Speed and Charge Bonus
The Boiling Sea: Gives Melee Attack and Base Weapon Damage Treasures of the Deep
The special currency of the Fishmen. Can be collected through buildings, battles and searching the right places and can be used for the tech tree, certain buildings and as sacrifices for special campaign effects.
Lore of the Abyss
The unique Lore of Magic for the Fishmen.
Weight of the Deep: Lore Attribute. Every time a spell gets cast enemy units slow down
Shadow of the Kraken: Single target spell that grants friendly target Terror.
Denizens of the Abyss: Summons a unit of Abyss Walkers
High Water: AoE spell that effects all units as they would fight in Aquatic environment.
Krakens Arm: Wind spell
Pull of the Abyss: Vortex Spell
Dark Fog: AoE spell that reduces range of enemy ranged units.
Trident Knights Sons of the king, they have taken up their fathers weapon. All of them are good warriors and talented leaders in equal parts.
Your basic melee lord. A heavily armoured lord with high leadership, silver shield and a halberd in form of a trident. High Kraken Priest
With dedication and faith, a Kraken Priest may venture into the Abyss to receive the Krakens Blessing to improve its magic and a golden face mask shaped in its image which will one day mirror their own faces. When this day has come, the mask will be taken off.
Your generic caster lord. Comes with the Lore of Shadow, Death, Life, Abyss and Greater Arcane Conduit.
Kraken Priest When the mark of the kraken adorns the forehead of a freshly hatched fishmen, his life will be determined by the will of the priesthood. From a young age they are trained in magic to carry out the will of the Kraken.
Your generic caster hero. Comes with the Lore of Shadow, Death, Life and Abyss Mermaid Born to the queens with ancient beauty and shape shifting powers the Mermaids leave their home with masters of manipulation, seduction and assassination and cults spread in their wake.
Your generic assassin hero which can also construct Craftians.Sharkmen Great White One The Great Whites are as much the best of their kind as they are the worst for they combine enormous martial prowess with the best discipline and the greatest greed out of all sharkmen.
This is your melee beat stick hero with Frenzy, Fear, Armour Piercing, Anti Infantry and Immune to Psychology. With the size of Monstrous Infantry and they either train units in your army or make the army create more gold after battle.
Menfish – T1 Born and bred for numbers, the small menfish are in equal parts a pathetic mirror of the Fishmen looks and behaviour as well as the living embodiment of the Fishmens opinion about the humasn.
Menfish are your low level mass infantry along the lines of Skinks or Goblins. They come with two variations: Silver Shield + either Swords or Spears. Harpooners – T2 Since times immemorial was the spear in whatever form the preferred weapon of the Fishmen, be it for war or for the hunt. Training with spear is such a mandatory that even Mermaids and Priests would know how to handle it well.
Now it is time to talk about the Fishmen themselves. Rather, their average warriors. I simply thought that the name “Harpooners” might be more fitting since, well, there is only 1 option anyway. So, for this the chosen comparisons I go a bit into more details:
Imagine the typical Saurus Warriors with Spear and Shield. Now the Harpooners pretty much are this unit, except they have less Health, Armour and Melee Defence but more Speed and Melee Attack. They also use Anti Large Javelins like Marauder Hunters but have a bit more range and do more damage. Also only Bronze Shield.
I'd want and imagine the Harpooners to be a strong and versatile unit that can be used in many situations. The backbone of the army, so to speak. Sharkmen Corsairs – T3 Born as a mean to strengthen the Fishmen numbers with power and ferocity outside of sea-born monsters and beasts, their savage nature has brought the Lord of Predators unexpected followers a long time ago. Still, some are loyal to their place of birth.
Monstrous Infantry for the Frontline. They come with Fear, Frenzy and Armour Piercing damage on melee. Then you get them with either 2 Swords or Sword + Pistol. Sharkmen Hammerheads – T4 More stubborn then their normal brothers, the Hammerheads are often tasked with taking care of the bigger enemies during battlefield. In return, they get a bigger share of the loot.
Sharkmen with Greatweapons, additional Immune to Psychology and Anti Large. Eel Rider – T3 Mounting the savage giant eels, these fishmen are the cavalry of the deep. They are as versatile as they are deadly, hurling their spears at the enemy before unleashing the fury of their mounts.
Compare them to Chaos Marauder Horse Masters except they are a bit more melee oriented. Have Fear, Fire Whilst Moving, Frenzy and melee-AP. Eel Knight – T4 Throwing aside their ancestral warfare of hit and run, the Eel Knights have traded mobility and ranged option for better armour and lances, ready to charge their enemies like the surface knights who gave them inspiration.
Heavy Shock Cavalry with Fear, AP and Frenzy Giant Worms – T2 Natural beasts of the deep, the poison spitting Giant Worms have proven to be easily subdued by the Kraken Priests, though their natural, cowardly instincts make them to unreliable for direct combat.
The Giant Worms are best describes as a smaller and weaker but more numerous version of the Sepulchral Stalkers from the Tomb Kings. They only have Fear, Poison and Vanguard Deployment. Worm Beast – T3 With magically prepared eggs and living sacrifices can a Worm take over any body, turning into a parasite that will fuse its own body with that of its unfortunate host until it controls everything.
Long story short: I present you the warhound of the army. They only have Fear, Poison and Vanguard Deployment. Giant Worm Beast – T4 With magically prepared eggs and living sacrifices can a Worm take over any body, turning into a parasite that will fuse its own body with that of its unfortunate host until it controls everything. Though, the bigger the host, the more difficult all of it becomes.
Were the normal Worm Beast the warhound unit, this one could be best compared to the Brood Horror from the Skaven. Probably a bit more durable but not as fast. Storm Sea Mantas – T4 When great storms ravage the seas these man-sized Manta Rays will leave the water and flying through the air, hunting and killing with their innate magic.
Flying monstrous infantry. Highly mobile and shoots Anti Infantry projectiles with AP and magic damage and has the last one on melee too. Does also have Fear. Storm Sea King – T5 The shadow of the King rises the sea and darkens the sky with dark clouds and migthy bolts will fell even the mightiest monsters with ease.
SEM version of the Storm Sea Mantas as flying artillery the size of a giant. Comes with Terror. Shoots magical Armour Piercing and Anti Large Projectiles and can summon a unit of Storm Sea Mantas. Has magic damage and AP on melee too and one hell of a Charge Bonus. Abyss Walker – T3 Hatching from eggs of religious queens, the Abyss Walker resemble the Kraken and have innate magic, though fare worse in direct combat then their shark-like cousins.
Monstrous support infantry with a bound spell from Lore of Abyss. Comes otherwise with Terror, Poison and Magic Damage and their base stats make them necessary. Abyss Born – T4 When a queen wants to prove her religious loyalty she ventures into the Abyss to receive the blessing of the Kraken directly and Abyss Born are born.
SEM version of the Abyss Walker, the Abyss Born come with a different spell from the Lore of the Abyss as bound spell. Comes otherwise with Terror, Poison, Armour Piercing and Magic Damage. Abyss Lord – T5 A long time ago, a queen vowed to never leave the Krakens side and the god of the Abyss made her his mistress and their children are spitting images of their father.
SEM. Comes with Terror, Poison, Armour Piercing, Anti Large and Magic Damage. Does also get both spells from Abyss Walker and Abyss Born.
Was not expecting this point at first but here we are. Names are a courtesy of Fantasy Name Generator, some at least: Marinus, Paladin of the Sea Favoured son of the king, Marinus is a shining example for his brothers, a beacon of hope and courage with a sharp mind and great skill for tactics. Marinus is a light in the dark, a silver lining of hope for the future and his fathers constant reminder of the past.
Your typical melee LL. Would be a bit easier and more basic compared to others and focus on normal infantry and cavalry. Comes with Silver Shield, Armoured, Armour Piercing, Anti Large and Immune to Psychology
- Recruit Rank +2 for Trident Lords
- Campaign movement range +10% for armies
- Recruitment cost -25% for Manfish, Harpooners and Eel units
Kairion, Zealot of the Abyss When a Fishmen is born with the mark of the Kraken, he will be taken in the Priesthood and trained in magic. If not, then not. No one has ever questioned this rule, no one except Kairion, Arch Priest of the Deep. He alone dared to venture into the Abyss, without the mark, without protection, with only his faith and he succeeded.
- Army reinforcement range +20% for the lords army.
- Battle reinforcement time -15%
- Leadership +8 for Manfish, Harpooners and Eel units
Your casting LL. Wields the Lore of the Abyss but does also get Lore of Death Attribute as part of his skills. Legendary Lord version of your normal caster lord. Comes with Magic damage and Poison damage. Just to be clear, he would have a no need for the golden mask any more.
- Recruit capacity for Kraken Priest +2
- Krakens Blessing: Constructing Abyss Totems allows to fill a bar with several thresholds for additional effects.
- Sea Corruption +3
- Diplomatic Relationship -40 with most races.
Alana, the Red Maid Long ago she was the most gifted Mermaid of them all and famous for her red hair but her heart was weak. Falling for the one she was supposed to fell Alana lived a short dream of a happy live, until the surface burned her back to reality. A constant reminder on her face that is now hidden behind the skin of the one who shared her dream.
- Upkeep -50% for Abyss units
- Wind of Magic cost for overcasting spells -4 lord-only
- Wardsave +10% army-wide if fighting on sea or coastal regions.
Assassin Legendary Lord with Terror, Armour Piercing and Poison.
- Recruit Rank +4 for Mermaids
- Recruit capacity +2 for Mermaids
- Hero Agent success chance +5%
- Effects of Craftian buildings +25%
- Campaign movement range +20% for agents
- Diplomatic Relationship -50 with humans
Narzat, Son of the Wild Sea Born as a son of the king, Narzat would have become one of many Trident Lords but due to a fateful incident he was forced to survive in the wild sea beyond the fishmen realm since he was but a few months old. He has forged a bond with the wild that has survived his return at his fathers side.
- Poison Damage army-wide
- Anti Infantry +10 for Mermaids army-wide
- Ability “Red Maids Fury”: When HP below 75% then bonus to MA and AP ; When HP below 50% does additional add Frenzy ; When HP below 25% does additional add Rampage and Unbreakable.
Ranged LL, throwing AP and Anti Large Javelins.
- Teleportation turn time for “Masters of the Ocean” reduced by 1
- Sea Hunt: Mechanic that combines Norscan Monster Hunt with Whaagh Trophies
Tench, Collector of the Tithe Born as one of the Anglermenfish Tench wanted more then lightning the streets of the cities or guiding a ship to its doom every so often. So he fled to the surface, hiding on shores and swamps and feasting on whatever he could lead astray with the light of his angle and he grew beyond normal manfish size. So he wandered the shores of Bretonnia and the Empire until he entered the sewers of Altdorf. What happened there he would never tell but when he emerged he had grown beyond the size of a Sharkmen but his angle was gone and only a scar remained at the place. His light now came from a magical lamp. A lamp that opened him up to the Wind of Hysh and powered his greed of gold beyond imagination. When he returned he became the Collector of the Tithe at the kings orders and he has never really cared whom he collects the Tithe from. Yet he knows that sometimes, the silver tongue helps more then the iron muscle, something he has learned during his time near the empire rivers.
- Recruit Rank +3 for Storm Sea units army-wide
- AP Missile Damage +3 for all units army-wide
- Ambush Success Chance +30%
A SEM LL with Terror, AP and Lore of Light.
- The Tithe: Tench can make more money then all the other factions but going beyond basic/first level of income gives also penalties to Public Order and buffs to rebellions.
- Gains 1 Treasure per turn.
- Income through trading +15%
Nautilus, the Ancient Old enough to remember the days on the surface, Nautilus has become a living memory of the fishmen. Scribe, Architect, Councillor, Nautilus has always work for the good of his people and mostly behind the scene but this old fishmen is far from helpless. He knows well, if you want to conquer something, you need to be able to keep it.
- Public Order -4 province-wide
- Income through loot after battle +50%
- Leadership +16 for Manfish army-wide
- Recruit cost for Sharkmen units -30% army-wide
Second caster LL with Lore of Life. Is also a ranged lord, shooting magical projectiles.
- Construction cost for main settlement buildings and defensive buildings -50%
- Construction turn time for main settlement buildings and defensive buildings -1
- Diplomatic Relationship +15 with Fishmen
- Melee Defence +5 for all units with Shield army-wide
- Buff to stats due to Encampment Stance +100%
- Replenishment Rate +5% for all units army-wide
Honourable mention goes to “Captain Megalodon” the Sharkmen pirate who was scrapped because it shaped up to be too much shark. This one is not about Stromfels after all.
EDIT: Another honourable mention goes to "Fontane, Winged Mermaid of the High Sea", who got scrapped because I could not come up with a Lore blurb I liked. Would have been a flying ranged caster LL.