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Ultimate Araby Unit List (The Canon Edition)

Some_ScribeSome_Scribe Posts: 1,308Registered Users
If you're looking at this post and going like this right now:



I don't blame you. If you're still reading this, then a bit of an intro is in order.

I've seen a lot of threads and videos about Araby's possible roster in TWW, but I kept thinking "Is that really all there is about Araby? What does the lore actually say?"

So, I made the noble sacrifice of many hours and some lost sleep to discover every little nugget GW ever wrote about Araby. I've been where no Wiki editor has ever gone before, and I've plumbed the depths of GW's works for info about Araby (aside from the novels, because have you SEEN the size of Black Library's collection?!).

My journey through the rulebooks and armybooks is still ongoing, but at this point I'm ready to start revealing my work to the world.

Before we get started, a few things to get down:

First, most of what follows comes from Warmaster Armies (2006, pgs. 47-49). I'll list other sources when I use them. If you have a source, name it and, if you have it, the page number. GW's published an absurd amount of stuff over the years.

I'll also point out areas where I'm speculating about info gaps. If a sentence doesn't have words like "probably" or "most likely", it's from the sources.

Second, I'm breaking my writings/ramblings up into multiple posts for two reasons:
1. Multiple posts let me group content by subject, which I like. This first post will be about Arabyan infantry, second one about their cavalry, third one about their monsters and lords/heroes, and (if people care) further posts about Araby's history, culture, climate, and foreign relations.
2. These posts are going to be LONG AS ****. I know people hate this kind of thing, but for my purposes it's unavoidable. The deeper I dug, the more lore I found, and there's some cool stuff in the forgotten corners of GW's older books. So get comfortable, or go click on another, more interesting threat. Like that Daemon thread that got a million replies. Or start another thread asking for Medieval 3 or something. Or go outside, because it's a nice day and you have a life beyond the forums (you lucky ********).

Third, critique me. If my writing is garbage, or you know I'm wrong about something, let me know.

Fourth, there's two different ways to spell the pronoun for someone from Araby: "Arabian" (the lazy way) and "Arabyan" (the slightly less lazy way). I'll be using Arabyan with a "y" throughout this except in direct quotes from the sources, because frankly, Arabian is lazier than even I'm comfortable with.

Any questions?



Fine.

TL;DR Araby has a lot of cool and interesting lore that can be used to make their list, including units that existed only in the background like Marauder Champions and Frosty Wyrms.

With that out of the way, let's dive right in:


The famous Araby Warmaster models from 2007. If someone says Araby had no lore or models, they're doing it wrong.

First off, a bit of general background on Arabyan armies.

The rulers of Araby maintain their own armies based upon the great cities and tributary tribes that live in the surrounding lands. The leaders of the tribes are called Emirs in the north and west, and Sheiks in the south and east. The rulers of the cities and their surrounding lands are called Sultans.

The Sultans are proud of their troops, especially their cavalry, and a lot of money goes into Araby's elite troops. Ordinary Arabyan troops and the irregular tribesmen are more plainly equipped, but they're by no means poorly equipped or poor fighters, as we will see.

Part I - Infantry

Spearmen


"Welcome to Araby, where pointy beards and moustaches are mandatory for every soldier!"

Basic spearmen with shields and light armor.

Despite Araby's cavalry being its most highly regarded asset, these humble infantrymen form the solid foundation of any Arabyan army. This isn't surprising, considering that Arabyans' most common foes (each other, Tomb Kings, and crusading knights) all make heavy use of cavalry, chariots, monsters, or all three. Most of these troops carry tall spears and shields, but it's noted that some units fight with swords, making Swordsmen an easy unit to add to a TWW Araby roster.

Interestingly, Arabyan Spearmen are actually part of a standing army. They're organized into regiments, fight in well-disciplined ranks, and garrison towns and cities and act as local policemen when they aren't engaged in military activities.

This system of organization (standing army of non-mercenary soldiers that act as garrisons and police when not fighting or patrolling, good discipline) actually sounds very close to the Empire's armies. To my knowledge Araby is the only other human nation confirmed to maintain standing armies. Could the Arabyans be copying the Empire's State Troops? It's certainly possible and, given the good reputation Imperial soldiers have in foreign lands, I wouldn't be at all surprised if they were.

(We don't know if Arabyan soldiers are full-time professionals like Imperial ones are, but the similarities in how they're organized are still striking.)

Bowmen


I swear, it's like they never wanted you to get a good look at these guys. (Probably to hide that magnificent facial hair!)

Bow-armed infantry and little to no armor.

Arabyans place great faith in the bow, and every Arabyan city maintains strong bodies of archers.

According to Warmaster Armies, although firearms are known in Araby, they're nowhere near as common or as advanced as those used in the Old World, and even then they're rarely issued to common troops.

The only reference I've found to the Arabyans having religious and social dogmas agains gunpowder comes from the 1984 2nd edition Battle Bestiary, back when the Arabyans straight-up worshipped Allah. The Warmaster fluff from 2006 contradicts this, and just says that Arabyan gunpowder weapons aren't as advanced or prolific as Old World ones. Since it's 22 years more recent and doesn't involve obviously retconned things like Arabyans being actual Muslims, I assume the Warmaster fluff is the most canon regarding Araby's gunpowder situation.

Guards


OK, seriously, does GW just not realize that not every Middle Eastern guy wears his facial hair long and pointy? Or even has facial hair?

The first elite Arabyan infantry.

Guards are well-equipped "with steel armor, keen tulwars [curved swords and sabers originally from India in our world], gleaming helmets, and fine silk clothing. These household troops or guards accompany the Sultans when they travel beyond the grounds of their magnificent palaces. The loyalty of these troops is famous. They are amply rewarded with riches, luxuries, and prestige as a result" (Warmaster Armies, pg. 47).

According to the unit description, every Sultan, Caliph, and many lesser nobles and sorcerers have their own group of Guards. These soldiers are so unflinchingly loyal that they'd die at their own hand if their master ordered it.

Sometimes, instead of Guards, Arabyan rulers will draw their bodyguards from more outlandish communities in the south. Examples include the Dread Daughters of Tariq from the Land of Assassins and the Silent Guard of Eunuch Mountain.

Dervishes/Dervishers


I couldn't find any official art of these guys, so have a nice picture of an actual dervish

These guys are mentioned in the WHFB Battle Bestiary for 2nd edition, published all the way back in 1984 (pg. 21). Lore this old is so non-canon it's hilarious; for example, the Arabyans literally worshipped Allah! However, the land of the Dervishes is still on maps of Araby, so they probably still exist in some form, and this is the only real description of them I can find.

The Battle Bestiary says that in Warhammer, "Dervishers are fanatical, religious warriors all too willing to die for Allah" and they had the Frenzy rule.

Since I didn't know what a dervish is, I Googled it. According to Wikipedia (the most reliable source for anything ever!), real-life dervishes are Sufi ascetics who live lives of extreme poverty and austerity. They focus on the universal values of love and service, deserting the illusions of ego to reach God. Many dervishes practice dhikr through physical exertions or religious practices to attain the ecstatic trance to reach God. Sufi whirling, a type of active meditation, is often associated (rightly or not) with dervishes. Historically, dervishes can become fighters, and they could probably be very good fighters given their tolerance of hardship and deep faith, but the Victorian British often mistook other "wild" Muslim groups, such as the Sudanese Mahdists, as dervishes. The British may have also used "dervishes" as a generic pejorative term to mean any Islamic opponents during Britain's colonial wars (though Britain did actually fight a so-called Dervish state once).

Back to Warhammer: Arabyan Dervishes would probably function similarly to Wardancers as a lightly armored but fast moving and high-damaging infantry unit. No matter what, their morale would be excellent, and they'd

Eunochs

No images because Eunochs look totally normal with their pants on, and without...well, do you really need to see that?

Arabyan Eunochs were first mentioned alongside Dervishes in the 1984 Battle Bestiary (pg. 21), but they've also been mentioned in the 5th edition Lizardmen armybook (1997, pg. 6), meaning they're definitely canon.

Their only description comes from the Battle Bestiary: "Eunochs are only rarely slaves, more often they are individuals brought up and trained as warriors or guards. They are unusually steadfast and loyal."

This is supported by their mention in the Lizardmen book, where a group of Eunochs are sent with Ibn Jellaba to protect him while he seeks a land trade route into the interior of the Southlands. Ibn notes describes them as "exceptionally loyal eunuch soldiers from [the Sultan's] palace guard..." Later, when Ibn's party is surrounded by Lizardmen for several days, the eunochs have the discipline (or at least the brains) to follow Ibn's lead and do nothing to provoke the Lizardmen (pg. 7).

It's possible that Eunochs are exactly the same as the Guards covered earlier, but I think they could stand apart as a different unit. Whatever the case, Eunochs should at least have excellent morale: After all, becoming a blindly loyal guard is one thing, but becoming a blindly loyal guard AND letting them cut your j*** off (which could very easily be and often was fatal)? That takes serious guts.

Assassins


"And it was at this moment that Sir Jaques of Parravon regretted his life choices...Except he didn't. Because he was dead." (No images from GW. What a surprise.)

Honestly, there's no real info about the inhabitants of the so-called Land of Assassins south of the River of the Serpent. But if I were a betting man (which I am because I preorder all the DLCs for this game), I'd say that they're based on the modern, badly flanderized stereotype of the Hashashin.

While they'd make for a better assassin-type character, a unit based on them could totally be possible. Perhaps something akin to Night Runners or Gutter Runners? Or maybe a much smaller unit, like the ninja units in Shogun 2.

Really, though, there's not much to say due to a lack of lore, so all of the above was speculation. Moving on.

Corsairs


No official art for Corsairs, so here's Ammand, that Barbary Corsair guy from Pirates of the Caribbean 3.

The vast majority of our info on Arabyan Corsairs comes from the 5th edition Dogs of War armybook (1998, pgs. 74, 84-85, 88-89) and it mostly concerns their interactions with Tilea. There's actually a surprisingly large amount of lore about them and their deeds.

In other words:



Arabyan Corsairs have been plundering the coasts (and presumably shipping) of Tilea and Estalia for years. They sail the seas in war dhows, not galleys like the real-life Barbary Corsairs. This actually makes sense, considering that the Corsairs have to sail longer voyages through rougher seas to reach their prey than the Barbary Corsairs in our world did. Galleys wouldn't be able to make the trip to and from Araby safely.

Sartosa in particular has an interesting history with the Corsairs. Over a millennium ago, Sartosa was colonized by Norscans, who, after some initial raiding, were hired by Luccini to guard the island and surrounding seas from the Corsairs and other raiders. However, in 1240 IC, Sartosa was invaded by a large Corsair force led by Nafal Muq. The Norscans fought to the death, but Nafal's men were numerous and cunning, and they prevailed.


A rare picture of Nafal Muq, posing after his victory at Sartosa. (Actually it's Sumbhajee Angria, another Pirates of the Caribbean dude. He was the guy with the high-pitched voice.)

Nafal's Corsairs occupied Sartosa and held the island for an impressive 261 years (1240-1501). During that time, Corsair raids on Tilea became much worse. The Tileans found that the Corsairs were even worse than the Norscans; they were much more difficult to catch, and much less willing to desist from raiding in order to serve as mercenaries. This was because the Corsair leaders were bound by tribal oaths to their Emirs and Sheikhs, and could not be tempted to change allegiance for mere gold. The Tileans had to resort to force, and several major naval battles were fought in the seas around Sartosa between the Corsairs and the galleys of Luccini, Remas, and Tobaro.

Then, in the 1400s, a sorcerer named Jaffar rose to power in Araby, and in 1448 IC he invaded Estalia. (The Skaven had convinced Jaffar that the Estalians were planning to invade Araby, so he thought he was preemptively attacking his enemies.) After Jaffar was defeated and slain at the Battle of Al Haikk, the Tileans decided it was finally time to kick the Corsairs off Sartosa once and for all.

In 1501 IC, a mercenary army led by Luciano Catena, Merchant Prince of Luccini, invaded Sartosa. Unlike previous Tilean armies, Catena's had several Arabyan contingents in its ranks: The fall of Sultan Jaffar had freed them from any bonds of loyalty, and they now condemned him for his wicked dealings with genies. (Jaffar had also faced a mutiny among his troops right before the Battle of Al Haikk. He wasn't very popular among his people, it seems.)

The Emir of Sartosa, Abd al Wazaq, and his Corsairs were driven back into their stronghold in the city of Sartosa itself. (Yes, the island of Sartosa has a city on it called Sartosa.) After a long and, to the Corsairs' credit, extremely bloody siege, the Emir and his men surrendered. Luciano allowed Al Wazaq to escape to Araby in return for leaving behind his considerable stash of treasure, mostly art looted from Tilea. Al Wazaq also had to surrender his enormous harem, which in his desperation he had trained to defend him as personal bodyguards. These women were promptly recruited by the Tileans as a mercenary regiment! (Gods, I love Tileans.)

The rest of the surviving Corsairs were allowed to stay on Sartosa and were even hired by Luciano to serve in his fleet. This was one of the earliest occasions on which mercenaries from Araby were hired by a Tilean general (which is funny, since he already had Arabyans in his mercenary army, but whatever.)

With the Corsairs temporarily subdued (emphasis on temporarily) and the Arabyans' wealth thoroughly plundered by the crusaders, the Arabyans were eager to trade when the Tilean merchants came knocking. From the Arabyans the Tileans learned about the High Elves' trade restrictions, and purchased "strange astronomical and navigational devices made by the sorcerers of Araby" (AKA compasses, astrolabes, and other math-based navigational tools).

These early trade relations quickly blossomed into close trade ties between the Tilean and Arabyan cities that continue to flourish over a thousand years later. Copher now has a Tilean quarter, and there are small enclaves of foreign traders in other Arabyan ports too, such as so-called The Street of a Hundred Dwarfs, which is noted for its bazaars of metalworkers, weapon smiths, and wig makers. It's safe to say that the Tileans deal with most of the Old World trade to and from Araby, and while the Tileans stay out of Arabys' internal politics, they have raised whole armies to help the Arabyans fight off the Tomb Kings when they come knocking!

(If Tilea gets added to TWW, I wonder if they'd get missions to liberate Araby from the crusader states occupying them? After all, the Tileans would want their trading partners back in action, and they certainly get along with Arabyans much more than Bretonnians, who write them off as dishonorable merchant and mercenary scumbags...)

But what about the Corsairs? Isn't that why I'm writing this all down in the first place?


This wall of text is too bloody long, so have a picture of a real-life dhow. Now imagine it's crewed by a bunch of mean-looking guys waving sharp objects and BAM you have a Corsair ship.

Well, as stated in the first paragraph, Corsairs are still sailing out of Arabyan ports to pillage Tilea and Estalia. They probably aren't as prolific or as powerful as they were in their heyday when they ruled Sartosa, and the glory days of Nefal Muq are long gone with the increased trade relations Araby has with the Old World.

But Arabyans are bold and adventurous as well as great seamen, and they'll "eagerly exchange fishing and trading for piracy", especially in Lashiek, the aptly-named City of Corsairs. So as long as there's ships to loot and poorly defended coastal settlements to raid, Araby's Corsairs will continue to ply their deadly trade.

In-game, Arabyan Corsairs would almost certainly function like Black Arc Corsairs and Nehekhara Warriors as anti-infantry specialists due to their skills at extremely close combat. They'd probably be very lightly armored, since armor is often a hindrance in naval combat, and fast-moving, since they need to move fast during a coastal raid so their target has as little time to react as possible. Small shields are a possibility, though. Perhaps a Corsair variant could throw Naphtha bombs or jars of poisonous animals, which would be useful for torching a ship or clearing an enemy's deck and throwing them into disarray before the Corsairs leap aboard and lay into them with short swords and boarding axes.

And that's it for Arabyan infantry.

HOLY CRAP IT'S DONE



If you got this far, your Constitution went up 2 points due to your perseverance! Next up is Araby's cavalry! Future posts should be shorter, since there isn't as much lore about the other parts of the army (which is funny, because Araby's cavalry is supposed to be the pride and joy of their rulers, but whatever). The next post hould be up in a couple days, depending on how much time I can spare. (Real life's a *****, it should be outlawed.)
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Comments

  • Warlord_Lu_BuWarlord_Lu_Bu Posts: 1,924Registered Users
    Wasn't a terribly long read, but well done. I'd prefer if CA didn't go 100% Canon though... that'd suck. I must have Araby musketeers! Mercenaries or not... otherwise I might as well play tomb kings or wood elves.
    "I am the punishment of Tengri, if you had not sinned, he would not have sent me against you." - Chenghis Khan Temujin
  • Some_ScribeSome_Scribe Posts: 1,308Registered Users

    Wasn't a terribly long read, but well done. I'd prefer if CA didn't go 100% Canon though... that'd suck. I must have Araby musketeers! Mercenaries or not... otherwise I might as well play tomb kings or wood elves.

    I think CA should stick to canon whenever they can when building rosters, and invent stuff just to flesh things out.

    Araby could definitely have gunpowder troops, but they'd be elites, since common troops are rarely issued with guns, and they'd be inferior to Old World handgunners in some way (range, damage, accuracy, reload time, etc.).

    CA could balance this out by giving the unit better melee stats so it can defend itself better, but at the end of the day Arabyan gunpowder weapons just aren't as good as Old World ones, so any units that use them won't be as effective as their Old World counterparts.

    Of course, they could give the Arabyans small sniper teams with jezzails, like the kind that the camel sniper lord model uses. That would be canon-friendly:



    Though even in that case, the Empire would still be superior if they ever add Hochland Long Rifles to the game.



    Bottom line, Arabyan gunpowder weapons should exist, but be relatively rare and less effective than their Old World counterparts.
  • ArsenicArsenic Posts: 4,351Registered Users
    Couldn't give a hoot about Araby, but you deserve a like for making it an interesting read nevertheless.
    "Ours is a world of fleeting glory. But it is glory, nonetheless."
  • Warlord_Lu_BuWarlord_Lu_Bu Posts: 1,924Registered Users

    Wasn't a terribly long read, but well done. I'd prefer if CA didn't go 100% Canon though... that'd suck. I must have Araby musketeers! Mercenaries or not... otherwise I might as well play tomb kings or wood elves.

    I think CA should stick to canon whenever they can when building rosters, and invent stuff just to flesh things out.

    Araby could definitely have gunpowder troops, but they'd be elites, since common troops are rarely issued with guns, and they'd be inferior to Old World handgunners in some way (range, damage, accuracy, reload time, etc.).

    CA could balance this out by giving the unit better melee stats so it can defend itself better, but at the end of the day Arabyan gunpowder weapons just aren't as good as Old World ones, so any units that use them won't be as effective as their Old World counterparts.

    Of course, they could give the Arabyans small sniper teams with jezzails, like the kind that the camel sniper lord model uses. That would be canon-friendly:



    Though even in that case, the Empire would still be superior if they ever add Hochland Long Rifles to the game.



    Bottom line, Arabyan gunpowder weapons should exist, but be relatively rare and less effective than their Old World counterparts.
    The problem I have with this fantasy world's "Canon" is that it is inconsistent and rather silly. Araby is meant to be an incredibly rich land with marble palaces housing tens of thousands of servants and slaves. Corsair navies that can challenge the High Elf or Dark Elf navies over the spice routes and well trained armies of Mercenaries, slaves, militia, nomadic raiders, magicians and guardsmen.

    Yet... Araby could not use any of these things to hire riflemen from old world, weapons and armor from the chao dwarves, technology from the elves or even use their extensive trade links to import weapons and technology from Cathay? I mean... come on.... it's absolute nonsense and the reason for it is plain and simple... the Empire is the star of the show, while all other human nations are an irrelevant fart that gets fanned away.

    "I am the punishment of Tengri, if you had not sinned, he would not have sent me against you." - Chenghis Khan Temujin
  • Warlord_Lu_BuWarlord_Lu_Bu Posts: 1,924Registered Users
    But when CA are given the ability to add on a few pieces here and there that GW already made but didn't bother putting in... they can change these silly little inconsistencies to ensure fair play for all... just like they did with Norska
    "I am the punishment of Tengri, if you had not sinned, he would not have sent me against you." - Chenghis Khan Temujin
  • NateSMZNateSMZ Senior Member Posts: 215Registered Users
    @ Warlord Lu_Bu - Just having wealth and power does not mean that a nation will stay abreast of the newest technological developments. In the real world for instance China had gunpowder weapons long before Europe, and yet they never gained widespread use in their armies and eventually their weapons tech fell far behind that of others.

    There could be many cultural reasons why gunpowder weapons did not gain widespread prominence in Araby. Perhaps the leaders do not want to enable the common folk to have access to such power. Perhaps they view the weapons as unclean. Or perhaps with so many other tools at their disposal, gunpowder seems unnecessary.

    If their usual foes are Tomb Kings, and Brettonian Crusaders then they are unlikely to feel like gunpowder weapons are a significant battlefield advantage. They need tools to take down skeletons with chariots and giant statues, or massed heavy cavalry charges - both of which early gunpowder weapons would be poorly suited against.
  • Some_ScribeSome_Scribe Posts: 1,308Registered Users

    Wasn't a terribly long read, but well done. I'd prefer if CA didn't go 100% Canon though... that'd suck. I must have Araby musketeers! Mercenaries or not... otherwise I might as well play tomb kings or wood elves.

    I think CA should stick to canon whenever they can when building rosters, and invent stuff just to flesh things out.

    Araby could definitely have gunpowder troops, but they'd be elites, since common troops are rarely issued with guns, and they'd be inferior to Old World handgunners in some way (range, damage, accuracy, reload time, etc.).

    CA could balance this out by giving the unit better melee stats so it can defend itself better, but at the end of the day Arabyan gunpowder weapons just aren't as good as Old World ones, so any units that use them won't be as effective as their Old World counterparts.

    Of course, they could give the Arabyans small sniper teams with jezzails, like the kind that the camel sniper lord model uses. That would be canon-friendly:



    Though even in that case, the Empire would still be superior if they ever add Hochland Long Rifles to the game.



    Bottom line, Arabyan gunpowder weapons should exist, but be relatively rare and less effective than their Old World counterparts.
    The problem I have with this fantasy world's "Canon" is that it is inconsistent and rather silly. Araby is meant to be an incredibly rich land with marble palaces housing tens of thousands of servants and slaves. Corsair navies that can challenge the High Elf or Dark Elf navies over the spice routes and well trained armies of Mercenaries, slaves, militia, nomadic raiders, magicians and guardsmen.

    Yet... Araby could not use any of these things to hire riflemen from old world, weapons and armor from the chao dwarves, technology from the elves or even use their extensive trade links to import weapons and technology from Cathay? I mean... come on.... it's absolute nonsense and the reason for it is plain and simple... the Empire is the star of the show, while all other human nations are an irrelevant fart that gets fanned away.

    Araby doesn't really use mercenaries abundantly. That's the Tileans' schtick. And anyways, handgunners were never part of the Dogs of War list, and the Empire is the only known human race that fields lots of handgunners as a core part of their armies.

    Keep in mind, Araby doesn't face armies with lots of gunpowder weaponry very often:

    -The High Elves, Dark Elves, Tomb Kings, and Lizardmen don't use gunpowder at all.
    -The Tileans use light cannons, but they prefer crossbows to handguns.
    -The Bretonnians don't use gunpowder at all apart from their navy, which mostly protects their coastline and is thus far removed from Araby.
    -The Empire is far removed from Araby, and outside of Marienburg, they probably get most of their Arabyan goods through Tilea.
    -The Estalians, from the very few records we have of their soldiers, use crossbows like the Tileans, and to my knowledge we've never seen them with gunpowder weapons. (They still use tercios, which is a bit odd, but whatever.)
    -Cathay is a fierce trade rival, but also a very distant rival, and their gunpowder weapons aren't as advanced as the Old World's either.
    -The Chaos Dwarfs are so far removed from the Southlands and the sea that I seriously doubt they have any real contact with Araby. And anyways, Chaos Dwarfs only trade with the northmen and Ogres, and they keep all their cool toys for themselves. (Note how they don't teach the northmen how to use Hellcannons, but supply their own crews so the northmen depend on them.) Also, given how the Arabyans saw Jaffar's rampant use of genies as evil and hated him for it, I think they'd react even more strongly to the Chaos Dwarfs' daemonic war machines and just overall evil nature. Whether Order or Neutral, the Arabyans clearly have strong moral lines that they won't cross.

    Finally, it's worth pointing out that Araby seems to do just fine without good gunpowder weapons. They can stand against the Tomb Kings, their navies are still some of the strongest in the world (and this is when Bretonnian and Empire ships use cannons abundantly), and they've fared well in battle against Old Worlder forces when they aren't badly outmatched like they were during the Crusades.

    Given all this, I think it makes sense that Arabyans haven't developed gunpowder weapons as far as the Old World has. They know about them, they know they're useful, and they do use them, but they've been doing just fine as is, so they don't feel like they're falling behind the Old Worlders militarily. If they did, given their advanced sciences and extensive trade contacts, it wouldn't take them long to catch up to Tilea at least. But they don't, so Araby's just fine.
  • oliverpmasonoliverpmason Posts: 862Registered Users
    Great thread!
    NateSMZ said:

    @ Warlord Lu_Bu - Just having wealth and power does not mean that a nation will stay abreast of the newest technological developments. In the real world for instance China had gunpowder weapons long before Europe, and yet they never gained widespread use in their armies and eventually their weapons tech fell far behind that of others.

    There could be many cultural reasons why gunpowder weapons did not gain widespread prominence in Araby. Perhaps the leaders do not want to enable the common folk to have access to such power. Perhaps they view the weapons as unclean. Or perhaps with so many other tools at their disposal, gunpowder seems unnecessary.

    If their usual foes are Tomb Kings, and Brettonian Crusaders then they are unlikely to feel like gunpowder weapons are a significant battlefield advantage. They need tools to take down skeletons with chariots and giant statues, or massed heavy cavalry charges - both of which early gunpowder weapons would be poorly suited against.

    I have to say even basic musketeers well formed against heavy cavalry results in a lot of dead cavalry. Skeletons and giant statues I'll give you though.
  • Warlord_Lu_BuWarlord_Lu_Bu Posts: 1,924Registered Users
    NateSMZ said:

    @ Warlord Lu_Bu - Just having wealth and power does not mean that a nation will stay abreast of the newest technological developments. In the real world for instance China had gunpowder weapons long before Europe, and yet they never gained widespread use in their armies and eventually their weapons tech fell far behind that of others.

    There could be many cultural reasons why gunpowder weapons did not gain widespread prominence in Araby. Perhaps the leaders do not want to enable the common folk to have access to such power. Perhaps they view the weapons as unclean. Or perhaps with so many other tools at their disposal, gunpowder seems unnecessary.

    If their usual foes are Tomb Kings, and Brettonian Crusaders then they are unlikely to feel like gunpowder weapons are a significant battlefield advantage. They need tools to take down skeletons with chariots and giant statues, or massed heavy cavalry charges - both of which early gunpowder weapons would be poorly suited against.


    I can agree with the nations not staying ahead of the newest technologies but... Araby isn't really a nation... it's similar to the Empire, with various Sultans and Shahs (emperors and kings) ruling their own little territories and cities... surely each of them have a competitive edge to stay alive. I imagine those in the Eastern part of Araby may fight skeletons all the time... but what of the Corsairs? based on the Barbary Pirates that were known to carry pistols, muskets and scimitars. I'm sure those who live alongside the Crusaders also see the value of armor-piecing weapons, as well as the various nomadic tribesmen that raid.

    All I'm saying is that... if Araby desires weapons... there is surely a way to get them... even if it meant purchasing Skaven Jezzails or trading with Dwarves or black market dealers within the Empire.

    As for mercenaries... Tilea and Estalia aren't the only mercenaries in the world... I'm sure bands of Empire people, Dwarves, Ogres, even Norscans and some Elves roam the world in search of battle and pay.
    "I am the punishment of Tengri, if you had not sinned, he would not have sent me against you." - Chenghis Khan Temujin
  • Warlord_Lu_BuWarlord_Lu_Bu Posts: 1,924Registered Users

    Wasn't a terribly long read, but well done. I'd prefer if CA didn't go 100% Canon though... that'd suck. I must have Araby musketeers! Mercenaries or not... otherwise I might as well play tomb kings or wood elves.

    I think CA should stick to canon whenever they can when building rosters, and invent stuff just to flesh things out.

    Araby could definitely have gunpowder troops, but they'd be elites, since common troops are rarely issued with guns, and they'd be inferior to Old World handgunners in some way (range, damage, accuracy, reload time, etc.).

    CA could balance this out by giving the unit better melee stats so it can defend itself better, but at the end of the day Arabyan gunpowder weapons just aren't as good as Old World ones, so any units that use them won't be as effective as their Old World counterparts.

    Of course, they could give the Arabyans small sniper teams with jezzails, like the kind that the camel sniper lord model uses. That would be canon-friendly:



    Though even in that case, the Empire would still be superior if they ever add Hochland Long Rifles to the game.



    Bottom line, Arabyan gunpowder weapons should exist, but be relatively rare and less effective than their Old World counterparts.
    The problem I have with this fantasy world's "Canon" is that it is inconsistent and rather silly. Araby is meant to be an incredibly rich land with marble palaces housing tens of thousands of servants and slaves. Corsair navies that can challenge the High Elf or Dark Elf navies over the spice routes and well trained armies of Mercenaries, slaves, militia, nomadic raiders, magicians and guardsmen.

    Yet... Araby could not use any of these things to hire riflemen from old world, weapons and armor from the chao dwarves, technology from the elves or even use their extensive trade links to import weapons and technology from Cathay? I mean... come on.... it's absolute nonsense and the reason for it is plain and simple... the Empire is the star of the show, while all other human nations are an irrelevant fart that gets fanned away.

    Araby doesn't really use mercenaries abundantly. That's the Tileans' schtick. And anyways, handgunners were never part of the Dogs of War list, and the Empire is the only known human race that fields lots of handgunners as a core part of their armies.

    Keep in mind, Araby doesn't face armies with lots of gunpowder weaponry very often:

    -The High Elves, Dark Elves, Tomb Kings, and Lizardmen don't use gunpowder at all.
    -The Tileans use light cannons, but they prefer crossbows to handguns.
    -The Bretonnians don't use gunpowder at all apart from their navy, which mostly protects their coastline and is thus far removed from Araby.
    -The Empire is far removed from Araby, and outside of Marienburg, they probably get most of their Arabyan goods through Tilea.
    -The Estalians, from the very few records we have of their soldiers, use crossbows like the Tileans, and to my knowledge we've never seen them with gunpowder weapons. (They still use tercios, which is a bit odd, but whatever.)
    -Cathay is a fierce trade rival, but also a very distant rival, and their gunpowder weapons aren't as advanced as the Old World's either.
    -The Chaos Dwarfs are so far removed from the Southlands and the sea that I seriously doubt they have any real contact with Araby. And anyways, Chaos Dwarfs only trade with the northmen and Ogres, and they keep all their cool toys for themselves. (Note how they don't teach the northmen how to use Hellcannons, but supply their own crews so the northmen depend on them.) Also, given how the Arabyans saw Jaffar's rampant use of genies as evil and hated him for it, I think they'd react even more strongly to the Chaos Dwarfs' daemonic war machines and just overall evil nature. Whether Order or Neutral, the Arabyans clearly have strong moral lines that they won't cross.

    Finally, it's worth pointing out that Araby seems to do just fine without good gunpowder weapons. They can stand against the Tomb Kings, their navies are still some of the strongest in the world (and this is when Bretonnian and Empire ships use cannons abundantly), and they've fared well in battle against Old Worlder forces when they aren't badly outmatched like they were during the Crusades.

    Given all this, I think it makes sense that Arabyans haven't developed gunpowder weapons as far as the Old World has. They know about them, they know they're useful, and they do use them, but they've been doing just fine as is, so they don't feel like they're falling behind the Old Worlders militarily. If they did, given their advanced sciences and extensive trade contacts, it wouldn't take them long to catch up to Tilea at least. But they don't, so Araby's just fine.

    That... is a fair argument I suppose... I still want da guns doe....
    "I am the punishment of Tengri, if you had not sinned, he would not have sent me against you." - Chenghis Khan Temujin
  • Some_ScribeSome_Scribe Posts: 1,308Registered Users
    Aaaaaaaand we're back!



    The last section covered canon Arabyan infantry, and this one will be all about their cavalry! Let's see what the 2006 Warmaster Armies book (which this is the book that I was using above in Part 1, not the actual Warmaster Rulebook because I am dumb and can't get basic citations right ARGH) has to say about Arabyan cavalry:

    "The Sultans are proud of their troops and especially of their cavalry so that no expense is spared either on their equipment or maintenance. It is popularly supposed that the horses of Araby are descended from Elven horses brought over from the west [AKA Ulthuan] many centuries ago. They are graceful and swift creatures and very highly valued" (pg. 47).

    With a description like that, you're probably thinking, "Wowie! With how much cool stuff infantry Araby has, I bet their cavalry is going to be even cooler!"

    And you'd be right!



    Come with me. I can show you a whole new world...

    (Insert angry comments about how Disney is not the origin of Araby's clichés and how dare I associate a Disney movie with Araby.)


    Part 2 - Cavalry

    Knights


    You can tell they're Knights because their moustaches curl upwards instead of pointing straight out. Oh, and everyone still has facial hair, because of course they do.

    Heavy shock cavalry with lances and very good armor (at least for Arabyan units).

    According to Warmaster Armies, "the Arabians are rightly proud of their cavalry. They are ornately equipped with long lances, tall helms, and glittering armor" (pg. 48). And, while the rules for Warmaster are very abstracted, they're actually right to be proud: These guys have the exact same stats as Bretonnian and Empire Knights, so they at least qualify as a decent heavy cavalry.

    There's not much else to say, really. They're Knights. If you've used knights before with any other race, you know how these guys work.

    Desert Riders


    Holy crap does that guy with his mouth cover down NOT have a moustache or beard?! I'm not sure whether to be ecstatic or disappointed.

    Lightly-armored cavalry armed with bows and swords. Their Warmaster rules give them a 360-degree firing arc.

    Desert Riders are fierce nomads don't hail from the great cities, but from the deeper deserts to the south and east. Able to move swiftly and attack suddenly, these guys are "the best light cavalry in all the land" (p. 48).

    The funny thing is, this bold claim is actually true: In the generic Dogs of War army list in White Dwarf 251 (2000, pg. 79), the Light Cavalry unit description says that "riders from Araby or from the steppes of Kislev are the best choice [of light cavalry] available to mercenary captains." In other words, the only troops in the known world that can reasonably compete with Desert Riders for the title of "best light human light cavalry" are the Ungol steppe horsemen from Kislev (and presumably the Hung and maybe the Kurgans, but they aren't exactly available for hire, now, are they?). That's impressive.

    It's also noted that although the Arabyan cities maintain their own bodies of light cavalry, everyone agrees that Desert Riders are "the finest and most dashing". (These city-raised light cavalry could be a cheaper, lower-tier light cavalry unit for Araby. Call them Urban Cavalry or City Cavalry or something, and you have another unit. Easy stuff.)

    Camels


    "We're the Camels. Our tribes said we weren't cool enough to get 'Riders' added to our name, but we don't care!" [They care immensely.]

    Bow and sword cavalry on camels. They actually have better armor than the Desert Riders, according to their Warmaster stats.

    The camel is a work-a-day creature in Araby, and it's common to see long trains of them marching from the deserts into the markets and bazaars of coastal towns. Camel caravans carry all kinds of exotic spices, cloth, and foodstuffs from the eastern valleys of the Atalan mountains (the mountain range between Araby and the Great Desert) and beyond. Because camels are so intractable, only fierce warriors from the desert tribes ride them into battle. I guess after you've lived in the deserts of the Warhammer world, camels wouldn't scare you for beans.

    According to Warmaster Armies, "camel riders [why isn't that their default name?] are brave and notoriously savage warriors who navigate their way across the shifting sands of Araby by an uncanny instinct unfathomable and mysterious to mere city dwellers. They are guided as much by their knowledge of the deep desert as by their desert-born mounts and, some would say, by their taste for blood!"

    Interestingly, Camels didn't have special rules that made them stronger against enemy cavalry. Instead, they had special rules about how they ignored distance modifiers for receiving the player's commands (because command ranges were a thing in Warmaster), but had a command penalty of -1 due to their mounts' intractability.

    These rules don't apply to TWW very well, and not having good control over your Camels like you do your other cavalry would be a huge pain in the butt, so I think any camel units in TWW will just be anti-large.

    But who cares about camels? Because, ladies and gentlemen, it's time.

    Magic Carpets


    "Say Disney again! I dare you! I double dare you, ***********! Say Disney one more *** **** time!"

    Whether you love them or you...don't love them, Magic Carpets have been a part of Middle Eastern mythology for centuries if not millennia, so it's no surprise that Araby's associated with them in Warhammer. I debated which one of these posts to put them in, but in the end I went with the Warmaster Armies ruling, which counts them as flying cavalry "as this is the closest categorization to their type." So here we are.

    Magic Carpets aren't just carpets with a floating spell put on them. So there's none of this involved:


    Geez, Ron, this crap is why they won't teach us first-years how to bind djinns anymore!

    To make a Magic Carpet, Arabyan sorcerers need to bind aerial spirits (probably non-aligned daemons) into a carpet. They've actually gotten really good at this over the years, and they can bind spirits into a lot of objects, but possibly the most famous in-universe is the flying carpet.

    Magic Carpets carry two or sometimes three riders armed with bows as well as various missiles. These missiles are thrown into the enemy's ranks in the flying equivalent of a drive-by shooting. The most famous of these projectiles are pots of nasty venomous creatures; scorpions, serpents, fire ants, hornets, and spiders. But the way it's worded in Warmaster Armies implies that there are other things the riders could throw. (Perhaps pots of naphtha or even primitive grenades?) And of course, as they pull away they'd be peppering the enemy with arrows like Wood Elf Hawk Riders.


    "I don't always go on Magic Carpet rides, but when I do, I wear stupid capes that could catch a gust of wind and yank me off this rug to my death. What am I even doing up here?!"

    In fact, Magic Carpets' missile damage is twice as good as any other non-hero/lord unit in Araby's Warmaster roster, so the riders must be REALLY good shots. They also have a 360-degree firing arc, which makes sense considering there's no sides to get in your way, so anyone trying to flank them is still well within their line of fire.

    Their melee stats are garbage, though. I mean, their Hit Points are fine, but armor is on the same level as Desert Riders', and their offensive stats are utterly worthless. Empire CANNON CREWS can put up a better fight in melee than Magic Carpets can. I guess a mug isn't the best kind of mount if you want to hit someone with your sword. Definitely keep your Magic Carpets on Skirmish unless you're performing a bombing run.


    The only Magic Carpet you and I will ever ride. You may now cry.

    In terms of implementation, I see Magic Carpets as glass cannons. Both their arrows and bombs do a lot of damage, and they move extremely quickly so they can zoom away from danger pretty easily. If they get caught in melee or take much missile fire, however, they'll drop faster than you can sing "I can show you the OH GODS MY SPLEEN!"

    Also, it's worth noting that GW never forgot about Magic Carpets. In the 8th edition Warhammer rulebook, one of the generic magic items that a lord or hero could take was an "Arabyan Carpet" to gain flying. It wasn't a very good item (it was expensive and the character couldn't join units, which was an invitation for you opponent to throw everything at your isolated lord/hero). But it was still there, proving that GW can actually be cool sometimes.


    After every battle, always take time to fix up your carpet. It'll last longer, and the resale value will be better. Plus, the holes look tacky.

    And that's it for Arabyan cavalry! Tune in next time and I'll run through their monsters, generic lords, and heroes.
  • Warlord_Lu_BuWarlord_Lu_Bu Posts: 1,924Registered Users
    Lol
    "I am the punishment of Tengri, if you had not sinned, he would not have sent me against you." - Chenghis Khan Temujin
  • DraxynnicDraxynnic Posts: 5,374Registered Users


    All I'm saying is that... if Araby desires weapons... there is surely a way to get them... even if it meant purchasing Skaven Jezzails or trading with Dwarves or black market dealers within the Empire.

    In the early skaven lore at least, jezzails were based off a stolen Arabyan design, just as ratling guns were based off Imperial repeater handguns. That's been a general theme with the skaven - they're very good at taking someone else's idea and iterating it into something crazy (and more likely to blow up in the user's face), but the original creative spark usually comes from elsewhere.

    So Araby certainly does have gunpowder weapons. They're just not as common as they are in the Empire or the Karaz Ankor.

    (Speaking of the models, in fact, I'm pretty sure that there's a pistol-using variant of the Desert Riders model. Not sure it would be worth incorporating into the list given how CA treated Imperial pistoliers, though.)
  • Xenos7Xenos7 Posts: 4,883Registered Users
    Hat's off to you, sir. That was an interesting read.
  • Xenos7Xenos7 Posts: 4,883Registered Users

    Wasn't a terribly long read, but well done. I'd prefer if CA didn't go 100% Canon though... that'd suck. I must have Araby musketeers! Mercenaries or not... otherwise I might as well play tomb kings or wood elves.

    I think CA should stick to canon whenever they can when building rosters, and invent stuff just to flesh things out.

    Araby could definitely have gunpowder troops, but they'd be elites, since common troops are rarely issued with guns, and they'd be inferior to Old World handgunners in some way (range, damage, accuracy, reload time, etc.).

    CA could balance this out by giving the unit better melee stats so it can defend itself better, but at the end of the day Arabyan gunpowder weapons just aren't as good as Old World ones, so any units that use them won't be as effective as their Old World counterparts.

    Of course, they could give the Arabyans small sniper teams with jezzails, like the kind that the camel sniper lord model uses. That would be canon-friendly:



    Though even in that case, the Empire would still be superior if they ever add Hochland Long Rifles to the game.



    Bottom line, Arabyan gunpowder weapons should exist, but be relatively rare and less effective than their Old World counterparts.
    The problem I have with this fantasy world's "Canon" is that it is inconsistent and rather silly. Araby is meant to be an incredibly rich land with marble palaces housing tens of thousands of servants and slaves. Corsair navies that can challenge the High Elf or Dark Elf navies over the spice routes and well trained armies of Mercenaries, slaves, militia, nomadic raiders, magicians and guardsmen.

    Yet... Araby could not use any of these things to hire riflemen from old world, weapons and armor from the chao dwarves, technology from the elves or even use their extensive trade links to import weapons and technology from Cathay? I mean... come on.... it's absolute nonsense and the reason for it is plain and simple... the Empire is the star of the show, while all other human nations are an irrelevant fart that gets fanned away.

    Well, it's not that far fetched. You could say the same of historical Ming China. They surely had the resources to develop or purchase new weapons, to build fleets and to fund voyages of exploration. But they didn't, because of their focus on internal stability and of the influence of a very entrenched bureaucracy. Araby probably doesn't use gunpowder weapons because the tradition of the bow has still a strong social role.
  • Warlord_Lu_BuWarlord_Lu_Bu Posts: 1,924Registered Users
    Xenos7 said:

    Wasn't a terribly long read, but well done. I'd prefer if CA didn't go 100% Canon though... that'd suck. I must have Araby musketeers! Mercenaries or not... otherwise I might as well play tomb kings or wood elves.

    I think CA should stick to canon whenever they can when building rosters, and invent stuff just to flesh things out.

    Araby could definitely have gunpowder troops, but they'd be elites, since common troops are rarely issued with guns, and they'd be inferior to Old World handgunners in some way (range, damage, accuracy, reload time, etc.).

    CA could balance this out by giving the unit better melee stats so it can defend itself better, but at the end of the day Arabyan gunpowder weapons just aren't as good as Old World ones, so any units that use them won't be as effective as their Old World counterparts.

    Of course, they could give the Arabyans small sniper teams with jezzails, like the kind that the camel sniper lord model uses. That would be canon-friendly:



    Though even in that case, the Empire would still be superior if they ever add Hochland Long Rifles to the game.



    Bottom line, Arabyan gunpowder weapons should exist, but be relatively rare and less effective than their Old World counterparts.
    The problem I have with this fantasy world's "Canon" is that it is inconsistent and rather silly. Araby is meant to be an incredibly rich land with marble palaces housing tens of thousands of servants and slaves. Corsair navies that can challenge the High Elf or Dark Elf navies over the spice routes and well trained armies of Mercenaries, slaves, militia, nomadic raiders, magicians and guardsmen.

    Yet... Araby could not use any of these things to hire riflemen from old world, weapons and armor from the chao dwarves, technology from the elves or even use their extensive trade links to import weapons and technology from Cathay? I mean... come on.... it's absolute nonsense and the reason for it is plain and simple... the Empire is the star of the show, while all other human nations are an irrelevant fart that gets fanned away.

    Well, it's not that far fetched. You could say the same of historical Ming China. They surely had the resources to develop or purchase new weapons, to build fleets and to fund voyages of exploration. But they didn't, because of their focus on internal stability and of the influence of a very entrenched bureaucracy. Araby probably doesn't use gunpowder weapons because the tradition of the bow has still a strong social role.
    Maybe... but the Ming was one nation, with vassal provinces... Araby is many nations (mini empires and kingdoms) within 1 civilization. It would be like if Ming China was split into Wu, Wei, Shu and Jin then had the Manchurian Qing, the Uighur Khanate and the Mongol Khanate all in 1 nation but each seperately governed :D

    They are all unique and all have their own based weaponry. The majority may use bows, but some use horse archers, some use cross bows.. some use rocket launchers.
    "I am the punishment of Tengri, if you had not sinned, he would not have sent me against you." - Chenghis Khan Temujin
  • Some_ScribeSome_Scribe Posts: 1,308Registered Users
    I'm looking back over my posts, and I just realized what a shameful display my editing job is. Swapped words, repeated words, inconsistent italics, and I CUT OFF MID-SENTENCE IN THE DERVISHES SECTION WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!



    Self-flagellation aside, thank you all for the positive feedback! It's been a lot of fun digging through old GW materials, and I've found a lot of neat stuff! The next post will be up in within the next couple days.

    Also, I'm considering making more of these "Ultimate Canon Edition" thingies after I'm done with Araby. Let me know if you'd be interested and any topics you'd like to see covered. (I'm thinking I'll do Estalia next if I continue.)
  • ShaddShadd Junior Member Posts: 349Registered Users
    TEB would be nice. I'd especially like a rundown of the different Border Princes in canon. I saw mention of a halfling Prince called Max the Glutton who turned his enemies and eventually subjects into pies.
  • WyvaxWyvax Posts: 1,772Registered Users
    @Some_Scribe is quickly becoming one of my favorite members on this forum. Keep up the good work man.
    Tomes read: The Great Betrayal, Master of Dragons, Curse of the Phoenix Crown, Trollslayer, Skavenslayer, Daemonslayer, Dragonslayer, Beastslayer, Vampireslayer

    It's T. rex, not T-Rex, you filthy casuals.
  • baronblackbaronblack Posts: 3,201Registered Users
    Uff. @Some_Scribe is stealin' my fanz.

    Sultan @MrJade is watchin' ya git.
  • takilung31takilung31 Posts: 1,318Registered Users
    Looks awesome cant wait to play this when its Released

  • Some_ScribeSome_Scribe Posts: 1,308Registered Users
    edited April 2018
    PaulH said:
    I'll have a look-sie, but some of that stuff isn't canon, which is what I'm trying to stick to. (Ex. Some of the Elementals this list has are from the 1st edition of the RPG, which wasn't a GW-made source and had stuff like Gnomes and Half-Orcs.)

    There are definitely a few things I missed like Taureg bandits and Al-Haikk thieves, though, so good find.
    Post edited by Some_Scribe on
  • PaulHPaulH Posts: 1,293Registered Users
    edited April 2018

    PaulH said:
    I'll have a look-sie, but some of that stuff isn't canon, which is what I'm trying to stick to. (Ex. Some of the Elementals this list has are from the 1st edition of the RPG, which wasn't a GW-made source and had stuff like Gnomes and Half-Orcs.)

    There are definitely a few things I missed like Taureg bandits and Al-Haikk thieves, though, so good find.
    The list is canon. I've played the games from the age of 7 (now 31) and I made not only that list but the dozens of others on the website for each faction, researching dozens of issues, army books, rulebooks and other lore sources to make them. Elementals are referenced in a number of places, including 8th edition.
  • Some_ScribeSome_Scribe Posts: 1,308Registered Users
    PaulH said:

    PaulH said:
    I'll have a look-sie, but some of that stuff isn't canon, which is what I'm trying to stick to. (Ex. Some of the Elementals this list has are from the 1st edition of the RPG, which wasn't a GW-made source and had stuff like Gnomes and Half-Orcs.)

    There are definitely a few things I missed like Taureg bandits and Al-Haikk thieves, though, so good find.
    The list is canon. I've played the games from the age of 7 (now 31) and I made not only that list but the dozens of others on the website for each faction, researching dozens of issues, army books, rulebooks and other lore sources to make them. Elementals are referenced in a number of places, including 8th edition.
    Your work is freaking fantastic, and looking through it I'm truly humbled. You've clearly put countless hours into it, and I'm grateful to have it to help guide me to sources that I hadn't even known existed. My hat is and always will be off to you, good sir.

    But as I said, some of the units you listed aren't canon, and I'm trying to stick to canon, only drawing from other sources if a unit mentioned in canon had a description in a non-canon (but still at least somewhat official) source.

    Going back to Elementals: They're mentioned in several newer sources, like in the 6th edition Bretonnia book (2003, pg. 33, which calls them "Elemental spirits"). But considering when it was written, I don't think GW's writers meant Elementals as in the retconned 1st edition RPG Elementals from the 1980s, as those were:

    1) from the time of WHFB editions 1-3, which are strictly non-canon unless GW explicitly says otherwise (like with the Knights of Origo and Bowmen of Oreon).
    2) from the RPG, which isn't canon because it's not made by GW.

    I also don't think Elementals in this case refers to the Incarnate Elementals of the lores of magic from the Monstrous Arcanum. The contents of the Arcanum are definitely canon, but the book came out in 2012, 9 years after the Bretonnia book and its reference. Unless the Incarnate Elementals were in previous lore (which is possible, but so far I haven't found anything like that).

    I think when the Bretonnia book says Elementals, they're most likely referring referring to the Djinns Araby uses, which are often portrayed as being connected to an element like fire or wind, such as the two seen on the Flaming Scimitar in Dreadfleet. There were also references to Arabyan Djinn closer to the time the Elemental reference was made; three years later, in 2006, the Djinn got a model in Warmaster.

    But again, thank you so much for comiling all of those references and for sharing the link to your work! I'm already diving into your other lists, and I'll be sure to link readers to your work if I do anything like this again in the future. It's going to be awesome to read through it all, and I never would've found any of that stuff without your hard work. Because of you, I feel like I'm just standing on the shoulder of a giant with my paltry posts.
  • Some_ScribeSome_Scribe Posts: 1,308Registered Users
    Before I get started, I want to point you guys to a really freaking awesome list of potential Araby stuff made by @PaulH:

    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?740545-Information-Thread-for-Potential-New-Araby-Units-Updated-27-09-Elementals

    He's already gone out and looked for every possible unit, item, and character for pretty much every Warhammer race. His focus is broader than mine (I'm sticking more strictly to GW's current canon in my posts, while he goes through EVERYTHING, including the RPGs), but from his list I've already found some stuff I missed (I'll do an errata post later), so you should definitely check out his really extensive work and give him some props.

    So kudos, PaulH! Thanks a ton for doing all that work for us little people!

    With that out of the way, let's begin.




    Remember when you first watched Return of the King, and you saw this:



    And you thought "That's freaking awesome! What could possibly top that?"

    And then you saw this:



    If you thought that was one of the coolest things you've ever seen...

    Then you probably bought Norsca as soon as it was announced.


    "Okay, Wulfrik's cool, but I still don't see how this is better than the Chaos Warrio-Mammoth."

    But if that wasn't enough for your elephant fix, then you're in luck! Araby's got you covered with its own tusked monstrosities with which to stomp foes into powder.

    We'll also be going over Araby's other monsters, the Djinns. So grab a Magic Carpet, or a Djinn if that's your thing...


    Seriously, wouldn't you trust this guy to fly you up and set you down safely?

    ...and let's fly off together to see what Araby has to inspire and terrify.


    Part 3 - Monsters

    Elephants


    Aaaaand the pointy facial hair is back. Why am I not surprised?

    Giant monsters with a lot of health that hit like a runaway freight train. Seriously; according to their Warmaster stats, their melee attacks hit harder than a shot from a CANNON. They also carry riders in the wooden towers on their backs who shoot at stuff and poke stuff with long pikes, probably to help defend the Elephant's flanks.

    According to their description in Warmaster Armies, Elephants are "ferocious and dangerous creatures", and their special rules reflected this. They caused Terror, of course, but if they ever became confused (which was a thing in Warmaster), they stampeded and you had to roll on a chart to see what they did. They'd cease stampeding once that particular Command Phase was over.

    Amusingly, if stampeding Elephants charged a unit, friend or foe, and routed it, they automatically pursued. If pursuing took them into another unit, that also counted as a charge. So a single unit of stampeding Elephants could potentially smash though several units, with each victory propelling it onwards into another unit, without either player being able to do anything about it until the dice decided that the carnage was over.

    Based on the scale of the Elephant models compared to their riders, I think they'd function like a Norscan Mammoth, but smaller and likely with more than 1 monster per unit. Plus, it's low enough that the crew can, again, poke at enemies when they run out of arrows, unlike those lazy Norscans who just stand there. (On that note, who guides the Mammoths? The Arabyans clearly have a guy steering the Elephants, but all the Norscans are way back in the tower, so are the Mammoths just steering themselves? Maybe they figure that the Mammoth goes wherever the gods will it, so they just wait and see where it takes them.)


    A real Burmese elephant dressed up for war. I'm not sure if actual ancient war elephants were bigger than this, and I know elephant species differ in size, but the Arabyan Elephants don't look too much bigger than their real-life counterparts. 10 POINTS FOR REALISM!

    According to Warmaster Armies, "Elephants are an exotic creature even in Araby for they come from the lush bushlands that lie between Araby and the jungles of the Southlands." So the Arabyans have to go pretty far out of their way to capture these things, plus they have to bring them back to Araby and tame them...

    ...which is probably why they likely DON'T do that and just breed Elephants. The Sultans of Araby have actually taken a page from the real-life Seleucid Empire's playbook and keep their own herds of Elephants that they've built up over the years. They probably try to have their Elephants make more Elephants so they don't have to send their servants hundreds if not thousands of miles through dangerous lands to capture and bring back some very dangerous creatures.

    (Or maybe they send their servants out anyway, because apparently the Sultans really like collecting all kinds of large and dangerous monsters, and "they eagerly compete against each other when it comes to maintaining the largest and most impressive herd of Elephants." So if having a bigger herd than that jerk Sultan Mehmet means capturing more wild Elephants...well, I guess there are stupider reasons to send people to their deaths.)


    Some Seleucid elephants going to town on Ptolemaic elephants. Also, you can see those pikes I mentioned earlier. Total War elephant crews have never had pikes before, but I kinda hope Araby's get them.

    In-game, Arabyan Elephants would probably function a lot like elephant units in other Total War games. They're big, they're weak to arrows, they freak out and run wild, but they can potentially wreck entire armies if used well. Some ideas for variants are Armored Elephants and, as a top-tier unit, Cannon Elephants. Yes, yes, the Arabyans have limited gunpowder capabilities compared to the Old World, but if they have jezzails (which they do) then they should have early cannons in some capacity, and gameplay-wise it would be pretty awesome to have an artillery unit that can SMASH AND TRAMP in melee so you don't need to babysit it.

    Plus, it'd make up for CA taunting us with Cannon Elephants in Medieval 2.


    The legendary Timurid cannon elephants in Medieval 2. They were big, scarily effective, and crazy awesome...and they were only playable in custom battles.

    And that's it for Elephants. But we're not done with Arabyan Monsters yet! Not by a long shot.

    The next monsters never had rules for them to be used individually (or at least none that I've found), but I doubt that would ever stop CA. I mean, have you SEEN all the rider-less dragons flying around in these games?

    But instead of more overgrown lizards, Araby has something more unique up its sleeves. Or in its lamps, if you prefer.

    Actually, the Arabyans use magic jars to hold these guys, but enough pointless buildup!

    Djinn


    "Mister Aladdin, sir, what will your pleasure be?
    Let me take your order,
    Jot it down,
    You ain't never had a friend like me!"


    Quick note: A lot of info on Djinns comes, supposedly, from the Dreadfleet rulebook, which I COULD NOT FIND. I know it exists, but after a lot of looking I came up empty-handed. So for once I'm putting my faith in the Wiki and assuming its citations are correct (Dreadfleet rulebook, pgs. 38-39). If anyone has a link to the Dreadfleet rulebook, please, please, PLEASE share it. Remember, not the Dreadfleet novel or White Dwarf issue, but the actual, full, 90-or-so-page rulebook for the game.

    (Now someone's probably gonna search for it and it'll be the first result that pops up. Oh well. It won't be the first time I've looked like an idiot, and it definitely won't be the last.)

    Anyway, as I already said, Djinn weren't their own unit in Warmaster. No, they were actually a MOUNT for Arabyan Magicians/Sorcerers. (I've seen the generic Arabyan magic users referred to as both in different sources, but I'm just gonna call 'em Magicians unless it's part of a quote.) Apparently, the Djinn will accompany its master and "can transform both of them into a whirlwind enabling [them] to fly as for a normal flying mount" (pg. 49).

    So, how would you like to be transformed into a freaking whirlwind and flown around by a magical blue dude who lives in a jar?



    My thoughts exactly.

    But Djinns aren't just great for flying around. They also give the lucky, lucky Magician who owns them...

    +1 to cast the Curse of the Djinn spell, as you channel Djinn's power through your own body!



    +2 to the shooting attacks of any unit the Magician has joined!



    And, last but not least, +2 to melee attacks!



    (What? You didn't honestly think I was done making Aladdin jokes, did you?)

    That's pretty much all Warmaster has to say about Djinns. Now we move forward five years to 2011, and the short-lived Dreadfleet, a game whose pieces are more highly regarded than the actual game (which is understandable, because hot diggity, those ship models are amazing!). In this game, we met the Golden Magus and his ship, the Flaming Scimitar.


    To give you an idea of this ships size, it has multiple libraries, an enormous harem, and huge rooms filled with cool do-dads on board. Also, those Djinn are each hundreds of feet tall. THAT'S HOW BIG IT IS.

    The lore about Djinns given in Dreadfleet mostly just elaborates on the Warmaster lore. It says that Djinns are elemental spirits which can be imprisoned in magical jars and bound to do a sorcerer's bidding. (So if you see a reference to the Arabyans using elementals, spirits, or elemental spirits like in the 6th edition Bretonnia armybook on page 33, it's actually talking about Djinns.) When a jar is shattered, the spirit(s) inside will manifest, billowing and spilling out of the jar to coalesce into a mighty elemental spirit hundreds of feet tall.

    All well and good, but here's where Dreadlfeet lore differs from Warmaster lore: It says a Djinn will obey only a single command before dissipating into the ether. One command. Just one. And then it's gone and you get another jar.

    Um, hey GW? I'm pretty sure that any Djinn used in battle is going to be doing more than one thing (flying around, buffing magic, buffing missiles, punching stuff in the face...). So what, does the Magician have to carry a dozen jars around during battle so he can crack one open when he needs it?

    I'm torn on this. The Dreadfleet lore is more recent, so it technically trumps the Warmaster lore if there's any conflict between them. But if CA sticks to the Dreadfleet lore, how will they justify having a Djinn stick around through the whole battle as a unit? I mean, they could just make the Djinn a summonable monster, but I kinda like the idea of a Djinn-Magician team going through battles and gaining experience together.

    Oh well. I'd be happy just to get Djinns and Araby at all, so I shouldn't fret about small stuff like that.

    Back on track: Once the Djinn fulfills its one command, it dissipates into the ether, free to go about its business or seek revenge as it sees fit. But while it remains bound to the Magician's service, the Djinn will fight with every ounce of its strength against its master's enemies.


    Never, ever break a sealed jar in Araby, accidentally or on purpose. You just never know what might be living inside. (Also, I've always wanted to use this MTG picture for something, so that's one life goal accomplished!)

    As you probably figured from the Flaming Scimitar picture, there are multiple types of Djinn. So here's a list of them, coming, again, mostly from Dreadfleet (unless the Wiki screwed up):

    1. Sea-nymphs - Those magical jars that are filled with sparkling seawater contain the essence of Sea-nymphs, or Salt Devils as the pirates of Sartosa call them. Sea-nymphs can freeze solid around seabound foes or seal a hole in their master's warship as living ice. Though they take the form of lissome wenches (and yes, that's how the Wiki actually describes them), they're perhaps the most inhuman of all the djinn spirits. They actually delight in dragging struggling swimmers so deep into the depths that their bodies crumple under the pressure. How charming.

    2. Tempest Djinn - The jars that contain a portion of each of the four winds will shatter into dust when the whispered word of their owner falls upon them, releasing Tempest Djinns that funnel their hurricane breath into the sails of ships. You can see one of these guys in the Flaming Scimitar's art and on its model. These storm-born spirits are capricious as zephyrs in temperament, but their raw might is like that of a tornado, and they can pull even the most fearsome winds unto themselves like a shroud. Fun fact: These guys are probably the type of spirits that get bound into Magic Carpets to make them fly.

    3. Desert Spirits - The only Djinn on this list from Warmaster. All we know is that Arabyan Magicians cast the spell Sand Storm (to be covered in the next post), they're actually commanding the Desert Spirits to engulf their foes "in a swirling cloud of choking sand and dust" (pg. 49, and by the gods does it feel reassuring to be able to confirm a source again).

    4. Fire Efreets - Those jars that contain powdered sulpher and dried naptha (left out an "h" there, GW and/or Wiki editors) may be ignited with a spark to release a gigantic Fire Efreet. Like the Tempest Djinn, you can see one on the Flaming Scimitar's model and in the art above. A Fire Efreet is a creature of savage delight that cackles as it hurtles through the air, searing the decks of enemy ships and setting aflame their crew as it shouts curses that sound for all the world like the "spit-crack of raw fresh melting on open fire." (I kid you not, that's actually what the Wiki says. Same spelling, same grammar. By the GODS, I miss my sources!)

    Oh, fun fact for you Chaos-lovers: A Fire Efreet's blood was used to temper the blade of the Hellfire Sword. Anyone hit by it caught fire or EXPLODED as their blood turned to liquid fire. The sword will eventually consume the user's lifeforce, but you'll be the toast of the Chaos Wastes while you still live (8th edition Warriors of Chaos armybook, pg. 62)!



    The Flaming Scimitar's absolutely gorgeous model, complete with Tempest Djinn and Fire Efreet. And yes, those are actual minarets on its stern. IT'S THAT BIG!

    There's one more Djinn on the list. We have no idea what it is or does, but, well...just listen to this:

    5. Royal Djinn - Only three of these guys are rumored to exist, all kept within jeweled and gilded Great Urns in the hidden rooms under the deck of the Flaming Scimitar. Each urn has an intricate spiral of skulls winding around its outside, crested by one of the three symbols that represent the elementals ascendant over the forces of darkness.

    Here's where it gets really interesting: These three urns are said to have once belonged to Nagash himself, and that each contains a Djinn powerful enough to eclipse the sun. Neither rumor is confirmed, but whatever the truth, the Golden Magus himself, an incredibly powerful sorcerer AND a confirmed Tzeentch worshipper (plot twist in the Dreadfleet novelization!) won't say a single word on the matter. Nada. Zilch. Perhaps even the redoubtable Sultan of the Seas (the Magus's self-appointed title) is afraid to open them.

    ...I bet he has Robin Williams locked in those urns, the Chaos-worshipping ****.



    Okay, all jokes aside, this is the kind of teasing GW loves to do to get us worked up, and by golly, it's worked again.

    What the heck is a Royal Djinn like? Do they even exist? Are they a force of evil and Destruction, or could they be foes of Chaos? After all, the Golden Magus is a Tzeentch cultist, so anything that scares him and he keeps secreted away at least can't be friendly to Chaos. And if Nagash really owned these things, he wouldn't have hesitated to use them given how insatiably power-hungry he is, unless he had no way of controlling the Djinns or forcing them to do his bidding (or if they were actually his foes).

    This mystery gets even more tantalizing when you look at the STRICTLY NON-CANON ending that Josh Reynolds gave the Golden Magus when GW forgot about him in the End Times. Here it is, copied straight from his blog:

    "The Golden Magus put to sea as soon the skaven flooded the streets of Copher. Unfortunately, it wasn't soon enough, as skaven gutter runners stowed away on his ship in an attempt to steal his three mystic urns. What happened next is unknown, as the vessel, and all aboard it, were consumed in a sorcerous storm which drew the burning remains of the ship up into the clouds, never to come down."

    (This, by the way, is why people were so mad when GW told Mr. Reynolds to shut up and pronounced all his statements as non-canon. Because they were a lot cooler than what actually happened in the End Times.)

    Maybe Royal Djinns could be Araby's top-tier unit. As in, you'd only get them late game, or even tie them to choices so you'd have to choose between getting access to them and other bonuses.

    But yeah. That's all the info we have on Djinns.

    So we have at least 4 distinct flavors of Djinn, 5 if you count the Royal Djinns, and maybe more if they decide to make a separate Warmaster-style Djinn (though they could easily give some Warmaster traits to the Tempest Djinns if not more) We also have Elephants to fill a more mundane role. Together, they'd give Araby a really unique, varied, and interesting selection of monsters to choose from-

    What do you mean, "You're not done yet"?! I did Elephants, I did Djinns, and that's pretty much it-

    Oh.

    Right.

    That.

    ...

    ****.

    Genies



    Yeah, yeah, I know, I just finished covering Djinns and you all wanna go home, but look: The 5th edition Dogs of War armybook mentions on page 89 that "in 1435 or thereabouts, an obscure Arabyan sorcerer known as Jaffar united the nomadic tribes using his charismatic power and ability to summon desert genies. He then swept out of the desert and made himself Sultan of all Araby." We also have a reference from the same book, same page, that I mentioned in the first post under Corsairs: After Jaffar fell, Arabyans felt free to join Luciano's mercenary army, and they "condemned [Jaffar] for his wicked dealings with evil genies".

    So, we have two canon references for Genies, a unit that, to my knowledge, has never specified as being an elemental, a spirit, or a Djinn (which, again, is all just different ways of saying Djinn). It also says that Arabyans hated Jaffar for dealing with "evil" Genies, so working with Genies would probably be highly frowned upon in Araby today, especially considering what a tight lid Araby keeps on necromancy and anything Nehekharan (5th edition Lizardman armybook, pg. 7). The Arabyans have pretty strong morals in some areas like necromancy and tribal loyalty (see the Corsair entry), so I doubt they've changed their tune about Genies in the past thousand years, ESPECIALLY after Genies became associated with the hated Jaffar.

    Honestly, I was really, REALLY tempted to dismiss Genies as yet another name for Djinns (seriously, GW, stop doing that), but the problem with that is that Arabyans don't like working with Genies, yet they use Djinns regularly. This implies that they might actually be different beings altogether.

    Then again, it's totally possible that Genies are indeed Djinns, and the Arabyans only have compunctions against using outright evil Djinns. Which makes sense since, after working with and enslaving these spirits so much, it's likely that the Arabyans would have some knowledge of Djinn personalities and which kinds are evil and should be avoided by any right-thinking Magician...

    That's what I was thinking as I looked for more evidence to make sure I didn't miss anything. And then, as if Sigmar himself was smiling on me, I found ANOTHER reference to Genies! One that DIDN'T make me want to slam my head against the wall!

    In the WHFB 6th edition rulebook (pg. 178), from the in-universe account of the Venerable Hieronymous of Nuln for Karl Franz himself:

    "There are many sorcerers in Araby, who can perform strange works of magic. It is said that they can conjure up spirits which they call genies and imprison them in glass bottles. Once the bottle is uncorked, the spirit emerges as a vapour and grows to immense size to do the bidding of his master."

    While I acknowledge that the word of an Imperial scholar isn't the best source for accurate information on Arabyan matters...his description of Genies sounds almost identical to Djinns except for the corked glass bottles replacing sealed jars. Plus, he refers to Genies as spirits, just like we know the Djinn are. That's enough proof for me.

    GENIES ARE DJINNS, CRISIS AVERTED



    I should also mention a couple other things of note. For one, the Golden Magus has a pair of clockwork Thundertusks (Ogre fans know what I'm talking about) in his ship's storage rooms. That's awesome as ****, but considering that he also has stolen treasure, exotic spices, narcotic incense, statuary from the Far East, and more, the fact that he owns them doesn't mean they're from Araby. (I suspect they're of Imperial or Dwarf make, though it'd be hard to find a Dwarf willing to make something so utterly untraditional. Tilean is also possible, but a lot less likely.)

    There's also Radiant Pegasi from the Storm of Magic expansion for WHFB 8th edition, but I'll save that for when I talk about mounts in the next post.

    And like that, we're finally done with Araby's monsters.



    I know I said this post would include their lords and heroes, but after all the monstrous stuff we just covered, I think I'll save it for next time and give my wrists a break. I'll be a lot busier this week so updates will come more slowly, but hopefully I'll have something ready for you guys by Saturday.

    Stay cool, guys.





    Seriously, stay cool. Take a break from marching across the desert and go find an oasis. You deserve it for reading this far.


    In memoriam. We're never gonna have a friend like him...
  • Some_ScribeSome_Scribe Posts: 1,308Registered Users
    edited April 2018
    I just noticed the Sea-nymphs hugging the sides of the Flaming Scimitar. So that's 3 types of Djinn that get visualized in one model.




    Gods, Dreadfleet had fantastic models.
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