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Thread: Wainriders Official Announcement and Faction Previews

  1. #21

    Default Re: Wainriders Official Announcement and Faction Previews

    I almost didn't recognize you with that new avatar, webba.

    It's genuinely good to see y'all are doing well.

  2. #22
    webba84's Avatar Praefectus
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    Default Re: Wainriders Official Announcement and Faction Previews

    Same to you too! New avatar is also a bit of a sneak peak I suppose

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Wainriders Official Announcement and Faction Previews



    Durin's Folk

    The hammers ring in the mighty forges of Khazad-dum, where Durin, sixth of his name, is king.
    Deep they delve, the folk of Durin. For many years has the West-gate been shut, and the Great Gates open mainly for traffic from their kin far to the northeast. The world beyond the walls was plunged into the dark of Sauron’s rule, but for centuries the Dwarves have filled their great city with the light of mithril - ever rarer, ever more precious.
    Some hold that the greatest glories of Khazad-dum are in the past. Perhaps it is time to prove that the Dwarves are strong, even without the aid of the Elves or the service of Men - to seek out mansions in the mountains of the north, to take back Gundabad, ancient hall of the eldest of the Fathers of the Dwarves.
    Such an enterprise will come at great cost, and with the wars in the world outside, only one way is left for a Dwarf-lord who will arm his people and supply his hosts.
    Delve deep.


    Tier 1

    Dwarven Axes
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Stone-hard both in battle and on the march, the Dwarven Axes are the mainstay of a Dwarven army. Like the axes they carry, these warriors are tough, warlike, and strong - reliable to the last on a battlefield. With a shield in the off hand and a hauberk of strong mail, these are excellent soldiers of the line for both attack and defence. The cry of 'Khazd ai-mnu!' - 'the Dwarves are upon you!' – is feared across Middle-earth thanks to the devastation caused by these warriors. Raised underground like all Dwarves, they learnt the skill of mining early, making them of excellent use in siege warfare where they can undermine an enemy's walls.

    Dwarven Bows
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    RANGE: Dwarves, though skilled in weapon-making, care little for bows when compared to their melee and siege weapons. But they do grasp the value of a bow's superior range. Training for the bow is often neglected by the Dwarves and only a few can claim to genuinely love the weapon as many love their axes, but strength and training can have their benefits, and these archers will stand up to many lower classes of bowmen. In melee, these Dwarves will overpower other archers and, thanks to their toughness, may even hold their own against some dedicated infantry, despite their lack of heavy armour.


    Tier 2

    Dwarven Warhammers
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    Few weapons can displace the special affection of the Dwarves for the powerful axe, but many commanders have begun to recognise the value of the long-hafted warhammer. These fearsome weapons consist of a heavy hammer crowned by points of Dwarven steel on the top and back, producing a tool equally capable of battering and piercing. Despite their ungainly appearance, these thrice-forged weapons have broken many soldiers and won many battles for the Dwarves. Lacking a shield but clad head to toe in strong mail, the versatility of the hammer leaves this unit equally capable of defence and attack. They are warriors to be admired – preferably from a distance.

    Dwarven Axethrowers
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    Throwing an axe is not easy to learn, but these Dwarves are both skilled and experienced in the art of war. Carrying two (comparatively) light axes, they can disrupt an enemy's rank before charging. Indeed, belying their stature, a Dwarf can roll along at quite a pace and deliver a powerful charge. In Dwarven lands east of the Ered Luin, the throwing axe has proven a most useful weapon in wars waged within the confines of tunnels and caves. Over long years of combat against the hated Orcs, the Axethrowers have become somewhat specialist Troll-hunters: the flurry of axes followed by a sudden charge confounds the beasts.



    Tier 3

    Dwarven Shieldbreakers
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    Countless ranks of Orcs have been broken on the shields of these Dwarves. Armed with a sword for fighting in the tight quarters of mines and tunnels, the Shieldbreakers train as a compact and defensive unit, acting as a solid wall on the battlefield. They don the tried and tested war apparel of mail and a steel cap, and are a fearsome force in war, trusted to defend a key position against all but the most determined of attackers. Like all Dwarves, the Shieldbreakers are hardy and fierce under pressure, and will not lightly leave a battlefield.

    Dwarven Ballistas
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    Smaller in scale but no less mighty than the ballistas built by engineers of the Dnedanic realms, the Dwarven Ballistas can deliver great destruction at impressive range. They are most effective when deployed against masses of slow-moving enemy infantry, as their missiles are flung with enough force to tear through many ranks of soldiers. These engines are pushed and worked by stout Dwarves who will fight determinedly in their defense, but a wise commander will take care that the crew and machines are well protected against a sudden attack.



    Tier 4

    Guards of Khazad-dm
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    These superior soldiers of the Dwarrowdelf wield an axe-headed lance with both arms, bringing their full – and considerable – power to bear. The weapon lends itself to fighting enemies best kept at arm's length; Trolls have grown wary of the Longaxes and their cries of 'Baruk Khazd!' - 'the axes of the Dwarves!' - but any Orc or servant of Sauron will be hard put to it to rout these staunch defenders. In an army renowned for steadfastness and strength, these are amongst the most resolute warriors. Their finely crafted armour of Dwarven steel can turn most blades, and a Dwarf can endure injury and hardship better than any that walks Middle-earth. Long have the Guards of Khazad-dm defended the great Dwarf-city founded by Durin I himself, and any wise commander would include them in his army.

    Dwarven Siege Ballistas
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    The Dwarven Siege Ballistas are a terrible force on the battlefield. By far the largest siege engines constructed by the Dwarves, these tools of wood, metal, and sinew hurl stones or fiery missiles over great distances and with devastating force. Against walls or gates, the stone missiles are more effective - and the crew are equipped with enough stones to reduce several sections of even the highest walls to rubble. Against troops, the fire-filled clay pots can wreak fearful destruction, engulfing dozens of enemy warriors with only a few volleys. On attack or defense, the siege ballistas are one of the most terrifying and effective weapons available to a Dwarven captain.



    Tier 5

    Durin's Guard
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    The Dwarves were made to endure, and those who guard their lord and kin in battle are the very hardiest of that race. Wearing face masks like those of the dragon-slayers of old, these warriors - and their enemies - are reminded of the great company in which they stand, guarding King Durin VI and his kin with fearless and faultless obedience. Their axes are forged of mithril inlaid with gold, and their armour is reinforced with the same silver-steel. Indeed, the only better equipped soldiers in all Middle-earth are the warlords under their protection. The Dwarves in this company are the most formidable of the Dwarven army.



    Special Units

    Wandering Longbeards
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    These most well-known of the Houses of the Dwarves have their chief mansions at Khazad-dum, founded in the deeps of the First Age by Durin I. Yet the Longbeards are often found outside this great city, trekking from the Ered Luin in the West to the Iron Hills in the East. When travelling, they go equipped with fine gear, befitting their descent from the Eldest of the Fathers of the Dwarves, often clad in hoods of deep blue and bearing axes inlaid with precious metals. Companies of Wandering Longbeards are eager to lend their strength to a Dwarf-lord of suitable station.

    Wandering Firebeards
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Like the Broadbeams, the Firebeards had their ancient mansions in the Ered Luin, and together these two Houses were renowned for forging some of the mightiest arms and armour that Middle-earth has seen. Although their peoples have dwindled somewhat over the centuries, with many Firebeards choosing to settle in Khazad-dum after the destruction of Beleriand, others remain in the Blue Mountains, and can even be found travelling the long roads between the far-sundered Dwarf kindreds. Often armed with a hammer and a pair of balanced throwing axes, they make a stubborn and deadly company, eager to take up service with a generous lord.

    Wandering Broadbeams
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    In ancient days, the Broadbeams delved their mansions in the Ered Luin, and while many members of this House removed to Khazad-dum in the early years of the Second Age, Broadbeams can be found dwelling in the Blue Mountains still. Outside of their halls, companies of this kindred sometimes travel on business unknown to the other peoples of Middle-earth, trading or visiting the Dwarf-cities and colonies of their far-flung folk. Wandering Broadbeams often go heavily equipped, with tools as well as weapons and armour, and will contract with a Dwarf-lord who has need of their formidable services. In battle, they are doughty warriors, shrugging off arrows and blades as they swing their long-hafted hammers.



    Disclaimer: This is not an exhaustive list! All rosters are a work in progress and unit list may not be complete or finalised; appearance and description may change in the final release.


    In Wainriders, we finally have the long desired opportunity for multiple Dwarven and Elven factions. Of all the potential Dwarven factions in the mod, the Dwarves of Khazad-dm are certainly the strongest, but also the proudest and most insular. Since the shutting of the West-gate around S.A. 1697 Durin's Folk have increasingly looked inwards, and downwards, and now have few dealings with elves or men. Therefore this is a purely dwarven faction; others will be more cosmopolitan.

    Count and I regularly go over all the source material for this period and generally discuss every last detail of what goes into each faction, so if you have any questions about the omissions, changes, and inclusions for Durin's Folk circa T.A. 1864 post them below and I'm sure we will have some interesting answers for you!
    Last edited by webba84; September 13, 2020 at 07:40 PM.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Wainriders Official Announcement and Faction Previews

    Ngl, I like that red Dwarven banner better than the one from FATW, because of the colour combination. Are the wandering companies faction-specific mercenaries?

  5. #25
    webba84's Avatar Praefectus
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    Default Re: Wainriders Official Announcement and Faction Previews

    Yes, that is precisely what the Wandering Companies are, though technically it is more accurate to say that they're race specific in this case
    Last edited by webba84; September 14, 2020 at 09:30 AM.

  6. #26

    Default Re: Wainriders Official Announcement and Faction Previews

    Here is a short (heh) video preview of Durin's Folk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7E_WOnz3UU

    One of the most sophisticated Total War modders ever developed...

  7. #27

    Default Re: Wainriders Official Announcement and Faction Previews

    So... 3 Dwarven and 4 Elvish factions then?

  8. #28
    webba84's Avatar Praefectus
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    Default Re: Wainriders Official Announcement and Faction Previews

    3 and 3 as things stand at the moment (remembering that everything is still subject to change).

  9. #29

    Default Re: Wainriders Official Announcement and Faction Previews

    Right. So I'm guessing Khazad, Erebor... Blue Mountains? Or were they too sparsely populated. For the Elves I suppose at 3 it'd be a straightforward Lindon/Rivendell, Lorien, Mirkwood. Also, love the blue capes on the Guard.

  10. #30

    Default Re: Wainriders Official Announcement and Faction Previews

    You've got 4 of the 6 correct - Khazad, Erebor, Lindon/Rivendell/Lorien (as a single faction), and Woodland Realm.

    Can't remember if we're keeping any of the factions a surprise or not, so I'll leave it there for now
    One of the most sophisticated Total War modders ever developed...

  11. #31

    Default Re: Wainriders Official Announcement and Faction Previews

    Quote Originally Posted by CountMRVHS View Post
    You've got 4 of the 6 correct - Khazad, Erebor, Lindon/Rivendell/Lorien (as a single faction), and Woodland Realm.

    Can't remember if we're keeping any of the factions a surprise or not, so I'll leave it there for now
    Hmm... This mod (or submod) has a different vibe to it, so to speak. And that's why I'm guessing that the third dwarf faction are the Orocarni Dwarves, and the third elvish faction are the Avari Elves.

  12. #32
    webba84's Avatar Praefectus
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    Default Re: Wainriders Official Announcement and Faction Previews

    You may well expect a mod called Wainriders to have a more eastern focus

  13. #33

    Default Re: Wainriders Official Announcement and Faction Previews

    Hmm my personal take has always been that any Avari by the Third Age have long been subsumed into the Silvan peoples of Lorien and Greenwood, but I trust you guys to make even the most thinly sourced faction lore-plausible. Dwarves on the other hand we know still had mansions in the East, with a few even taking Sauron's side in the War of the Last Alliance.
    Last edited by SnuggleBunnies; September 18, 2020 at 06:20 PM.

  14. #34
    webba84's Avatar Praefectus
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    Default Re: Wainriders Official Announcement and Faction Previews

    We appreciate the trust, and will try not to abuse it!

    The Avari are fun to think about (and not just because there's practically no information about them at all) and I guess it's for that reason as much as anything else we want to include them in the mod. TW mods are, after all, about alternative histories and changing the course of events (or fulfilling them) so it is good to give players interesting choices and challenges.

    Also, we needed a faction in that area and a mannish Dorwinion south of the Celduin does not work in the era when the Wainriders had rendered that whole area subjugated, so we have come up with an alternate campaign situation around the Sea of Rhun, which I think you will find to be both lore appropriate and fun.

    Of the lore reasons for including them, the fact is that we had lots of discussions and research to get to the decisions we've made now, but a lot of it was already several years old and I've forgotten a large chunk . The key aim, which is really the only way to do it when there's so little of Tolkien's actual opinion on the topic, is to avoid contradicting anything known, and to make it believable. I think our plan achieves both of those things.

    Incidentally, Avari moving westwards towards the Woodland Realm is a concept that will be featured in the mod, so it's not completely in opposition to your views on what likely happened to them. (For what it's worth, while I find it believable that an Avari realm could have survived to this period in the East (which was after all very large, and seems to have not been heavily populated by men in the northern reaches at this point) my personal view is probably that Morgoth hunted them, and incited men to hunt them, more or less to extinction before the end of the first age, aside from those that escaped west. But this is not as interesting as coming up with an Avari faction, so I'm happy to go that way instead ).

    Something I do recall about the lore is that we very much enjoyed these couple of articles on the topic, which probably don't have any information you haven't seen before but are very well reasoned and expressed:

    Was Dorwinion an Elf Kingdom?
    What Happened to the Elves Who Remained in the East?
    Last edited by webba84; September 17, 2020 at 10:54 AM.

  15. #35

    Default Re: Wainriders Official Announcement and Faction Previews

    Yes, the lore is fuzzy and leaves plenty of wiggle room off on the edges of the 'known' world, and of course it's an approach the mod has taken before. In lore terms after all, it's highly implausible that the Elves will do anything other than slowly leave/fade in the Fourth Age, but that doesn't make for a fun campaign, so you all came up with the at least lore plausible and certainly more fun approach.

    I think I have been a bit leery of the Avari because of their treatment in fan fic and other mods, which tends to be... I don't know, way too sexy for Tolkien? As in, sexy at all, and weird? I know the Fourth Age team can be trusted to stick with the more serious tone of Tolkien's work.

  16. #36
    webba84's Avatar Praefectus
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    Default Re: Wainriders Official Announcement and Faction Previews

    You'll probably be reassured to know that I have never come across any portrayal of Avari as 'sexy' (I mean why, and why specifically Avari?!). I'm certainly happy to remain ignorant of it

  17. #37
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    Default Re: Wainriders Official Announcement and Faction Previews



    Black Forest Tribes

    The dark heights of the Eryn Vorn receive the winds of the Sea. Of late the winds bring only clouds and rain and the smell of salt – but in the days of long ago, before the Dark Years, the winds brought great ships like floating houses bearing men tall and stern. These strangers made settlements along the coasts to the south. They disturbed the land. They hewed down trees. And they made war.
    Only dim memories and faded stories remain of those days, when the fearsome Elves fought against the loathsome Orcs of the Dark One, who brought fire and ruin to the waste the new-come men had made. Now, there come stories of wraiths and evil hill-folk from the north, while rumours whisper of other troubles far to the East.
    But from stockaded homesteads deep in the pines of the Blackwood, and from villages hidden among the reeds, the people of the forests and the coasts have begun to gather. Far from the eyes of the mighty kings of men, the tribes are growing strong under warlike chieftains. It has been many lives since they crept from the shelter of wood and bog, but the time is at hand when the foes of the Black Forest will go in fear of the night, when the wind will speak to those enemies of the feathered shaft and the hidden spear.


    Tier 1

    Coastal Raiders
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    Lightly-armed but eager axe men are the mainstay of tribal raiding parties, and mustering bands of these Coastal Raiders for longer service in campaigns has been key to local chieftains extending their sway from Eryn Vorn to Enedwaith. While their shields provide some protection, they have neither the training nor the armour to stand for long against a disciplined foe. Like most of the warriors who hail from the region, these men are woodcrafty, and their strength is in ambush and swiftly overwhelming their enemy rather than in battle on an open plain.

    Coastal Hunters
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    The western coasts of Eriador and Enedwaith are ripe with game - fish and fowl and beasts small and large. These skilled hunters try their spears against all of these, and, when the chief summons them to raid or war, they bear their weapons with an expertise gained by years of stealth and toil in the wilderness. Though poorly defended and unused to open battle, they can be deadly at range, even to well-trained soldiers.


    Tier 2

    Longspearmen
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    Metals are rare to the native peoples of the coastlands of Enedwaith and Minhiriath, so when battle must be joined, many of these men rely on keeping distance from the enemy rather than armour for protection. Longspearmen are trained to fight in a group, rather than as individual warriors, which is especially useful when facing the riders of enemy nations, but they must be supported by more aggressive fighters if they hope to carry the day.

    Woodmen Foresters
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    These lightly-armed bowmen are at home in the dark forests of the Eryn Vorn, or hunting patiently in the woods along the coasts and riverbanks. Expert stalkers and ambushers, they are deadly at range and enthusiastic fighters in melee, wielding an axe against foes who close the distance between them. However, like many of the men called to arms by a chieftain of the coastal tribes, the Blackwood Bows are poorly suited for open battle, being neither disciplined nor armoured against arrow or sword.



    Tier 3

    Blackwood Warriors
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    These axe-wielding warriors of the coastal woodlands are among the sturdiest and fiercest fighters a chieftain of the Blackwood can lead into battle. Armoured only with an iron cap and leather or hide jerkin, they are nevertheless eager to prove their worth in melee. Whether defending their forest steadings or taking the fight to an overconfident foe, they are reliable and hardy men.

    War-dogs
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    Well-trained hounds make good companions on the hunt, and for the isolated communities of the Blackwood they are wary and formidable guardians. The largest and fiercest of these sometimes accompany their masters on raids or skirmishes, where they learn to run down fleeing foes or maul those who choose to stand and fight. Even an experienced warrior may quail at the sight of a pack of snarling, savage war-dogs! The dogs’ handlers bear small shields and hunting spears, to goad the beasts and defend themselves at need, but they are best kept out of melee unless they can outflank an already damaged or demoralized enemy.

    Chieftain's Guard (Bodyguard Unit)
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    The men of the coastlands and Blackwood go seldom to open war, but when need drives them to fight, their leaders are accompanied by a guard of strong spear-warriors. Each man in the warband carries a pair of heavy throwing spears and a stout spear for thrusting. Their armour is a rare treasure for the rustic tribes of the coasts, reserved for their clan chiefs and guardsmen, who often assemble the long coats of mail from pieces taken from fallen (but better-equipped) enemies. These warriors are among the best of their people, and can hold the line against all but the most elite foes.



    Special Units

    Dr-Wardens
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    Only a remnant of this secret and fell people remains now in Middle-earth, but before the foundering of Beleriand the Dr-folk lived and fought alongside the Haladin in their struggle against the Orcs of Morgoth. Now dwelling in remote mountains and forests, they shun outsiders but will at times form strong bonds with the wary folk of wood and fen, among whom some dim memory yet remains of the ancient People of Haleth. When roused to war, Dr-Wardens prefer to fight from ambush with javelins and short spears rumoured to be dipped in poison.

    Shield Sisters
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    The tribes of the dark woods and coasts of Enedwaith and Minhiriath share little in common with other Men, keeping to their own speech and customs. One of the strangest of these - little known to outsiders, with whom they have had few dealings - is the presence among them of women warriors. Indeed, like the Folk of Haleth, to whom they are of old akin, many of their women do not marry, and not a few take up spear and shield in defense of their isolated, stockaded settlements. These Shield Sisters are formidable fighters, and while they go on few raids beyond their borders, they tend to be better armed than some of the lightly-clad hunters and fisher-folk who are called to muster in a crisis.



    Disclaimer: This is not an exhaustive list! All rosters are a work in progress and unit list may not be complete or finalised; appearance and description may change in the final release.


    After showing three fairly major realms of the period we thought it was time to share one of the smaller and less important factions in the mod. The Black Forest Tribes represent the much maligned natives of the coastal regions of Minhiriath and Enedwaith, and are probably a bit of an underdog even in this remote corner of Middle-earth. A fairly primitive faction, both lore wise and gameplay wise, they should present a fun and difficult campaign for the experienced RTW player who would enjoy the challenge of bringing some good fortune to the long-suffering Gwathuirim.

    Important Announcement: Total War: Wainriders now has it's own page over at moddb, which will later on be where the download is hosted. Head over there and follow the mod to make sure you never miss an update!
    Last edited by webba84; September 19, 2020 at 12:55 PM.

  18. #38
    Beorn's Avatar Praepositus
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    Default Re: Wainriders Official Announcement and Faction Previews

    I am getting strong Attilla TW vibes from this faction, nice!

  19. #39

    Default Re: Wainriders Official Announcement and Faction Previews

    Love the frequent updates. Do you know yet what the total faction count will be?

  20. #40
    webba84's Avatar Praefectus
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    Default Re: Wainriders Official Announcement and Faction Previews

    It's looking like 18 for the campaign, and 19 in custom battles, assuming everything works out with some hard coded characteristics.

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