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Author Topic: Picking an Army  (Read 2464 times)
ElectricPaladin
Jenta
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Posts: 16



« on: September 21, 2015, 03:15:33 pm »

As I posted elsewhere, I'm brand new and considering getting into this game, which will help to break ground out here in California (though I'm given to believe that I'm not the first). I haven't got my demo yet, so the decision is not quite made, but the rules sound good and the models are very appealing, so it's very nearly a sure thing.

The trouble is, I can't decide which starter forces to get in my starter box. I'm pretty familiar with the look and background of the various armies - I've read everything out there to date - but what I can't get as clear as sense of yet is how they play. Because as much as the background and the look is appealing, I do want to actually play the game once in a while!

A little about myself: I tend to prefer mobility over static "brickiness," but I like a force that's durable enough that I can play "smart aggression" rather than simply being squirrely all the time. While mobility and speed are important, I've discovered that I'll get bored if my army is so fast that it can end up everywhere on the board without any effort on my part (just like I suppose someone who likes a hard-hitting army will get bored with a force that always decimates its opponent immediately upon making contact). I like options and shenanigans, but I don't like to feel like I'm giving my opponent a bad time.

As far as background preferences... I like anyone with a point of view. I don't like ravening monsters or villains. That's not an issue, because this game hasn't got any true bad guys. I could see myself sympathizing with pretty much any of the cultures described thus far. Even the Devanu are sympathetic when you think about how they've been hunted like animals for years...

So... what do you think?
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Carcharoth
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« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2015, 08:14:31 pm »

Good question! That is something that is currently missing…
When designing the forces I put a lot of thought into how they should feel very different in the way they play. The Empire should be quite weak, but with captains that gain their strength from their supporting troops. The Devanu should be very fast and powerful, but always at risk of being overwhelmed. The Delgon are the army that can be fielded in vast numbers of poorly trained and equipped troops (but have a core of elite troops if you want to go that route). The Kedashi are only at the playtest stage, but provide another very different playstyle with lots of tiny disposable troops that need to be controlled.
I’ve taken the opportunity to have a bit of a ramble about the forces, so hopefully this will help! If you’ve got any comments or questions then please chip in and I’ll pull it all together and put it somewhere easy to find.

Empire
These are the standard ‘good guys’ (although I’m not convinced things are ever that black and white…) and give you quite a few options depending on which subculture you choose.
At their centre you have the nice rounded core troops, with militia, slingers and light cavalry. The militia give you numbers, but rely on their captains to do the damage. The slingers can occasionally give you a lucky kill, but once you add a Reyad they are probably the most effective long ranged unit in the game.
You can supplement those core troops with forces from one of the themed subcultures to give a bit more variety.
Knights: These are the main defenders of the Empire and give you some very heavy hitting options as well as adding a lot of mobility.
Knights of Orel: Very similar to the Emperor’s knights in playstyle so this is more of an aesthetic choice! They do allow you to field the little graku more freely and you’ve got the option of a Grakukan to lead your force if you like the idea of a big nasty lizard as a mount for your Lord!
Nobles: The Nobles are a heavily themed force, that is relatively sturdy and slow moving. They don’t have many options at the moment, but you can build a solid core of the well-trained Nobleguard that is strong in defence with a powerful charge once the enemy get close. The Noble is probably more of a hindrance than a help, but some would say that you should be obliged to take a Noble of some sort (or even the Falconer as an alternative)!
Engu: These hulking northerners provide another slow moving and heavy hitting option. The Kapa and his crew activate in an unusual manner (small units with a ‘loyal’ garista to activate them so you can activate the whole crew or split off into smaller autonomous groups), have a strong save and their ‘powerful’ axes do make them hard hitting. Not to mention the harpoon (although I’ve not tried a unit with a Reyad leading a couple of harpoons, I imagine that would be very dangerous!).
Traders: Not really a force in their own right (at least for the moment), but they are a good centrepiece for scenarios and give an excuse to paint up some fun creatures.

Devanu
If you like fast moving, elite forces then the Devanu are almost certainly the choice for you. You don’t get many models in a force (which can be a help if you are a slow painter!), but those that you have are generally the best in the game. The reliance on stamina does make them a challenge to play though and a lot of games seem to end with them getting bogged down and slaughtered… If you can keep them moving then they are great fun to play.
There are less thematic options for the Devanu, but you can choose to focus on the adults with a few beasts, or the younger Outcast Jenta who are less deadly than the adults but slightly more numerous. The Jenta can also field the big Kelahn as a more random force of chaos. There is also the option to field grishak on their own as a force, which gives a lot of speed and can be very hard hitting, but they don’t really rely on that much finess!
I tend to feel that everybody should get a Devanu force… If you get an adult Devanu and a few grishak then you’ve got a whole host of games options without needing lots of models.

Delgon
The original vision behind the Delgon was for a much more troop heavy force – lots of heavily armoured little soldiers led by a small number of priests with a  few deraks (blunderbusses) thrown in for good measure. This is still an option for the force, but I think most forces tend to be a little more varied!
The Delgon as a rule are a slightly more advanced force to play. You need to understand how best to build a force and how to activate the models effectively. The higher model count also makes them a bit slower for a beginner to play. The tight-knit military formations can be a lot of fun to play though! The better trained KalJoran are a good addition to an infantry heavy force.
The KalMalog can be fielded in small numbers within a normal Delgon force or even fielded as a very elite force on their own. They provide some good hitting power and manoeuvrability to the otherwise slow-moving Delgon.

Dhogu
These were conceived as primarily being used as allies to the Delgon, but seem to have taken on a life of their own! The standard troops are much better than their Empire and Delgon equivalents, but their elites suffer in comparison. The cheap and plentiful skerrats certainly shouldn’t be overlooked as they help to balance out the lack of numbers.
The trapper is one model that might appear more often in Delgon forces as he allows you to deploy some of your troops to ambush your enemy.
The Dhogu bows are a little ineffective at the moment and the yirnak can suffer a little if you are a very competitive player, but I’ve got some ideas for new models that should help with the balance!
One word of warning is that the models do come in lots of pieces. I think they are reasonably easy to assemble, but I’m working to get some cast as single part models to make life easier.

The Kedashi Swarms
These are the newest force to have been released and are still in their playtest phase. They are very different to the other cultures as you have to carefully manage how you move and utilise the tiny frenu – forming them into swarms, using them with the bagrun as flying bombs, burning them for stamina or simply using them to slow your enemies down. Probably not a force for a new player as they are so different in their style, but I think they are fun to play.
I’m working on some new ‘Trebarnii’ and there are a few on the August 2015 master mould. These give the option for some slightly more traditional troops within the swarm and I’ve got some playtest rules I need to share around.

The Casanii
This section is perhaps a little premature seen as there is only the one model so far (and he’s part of the Core Empire), but this is the next big project I’m working on. The Casanii are strong allies to the Empire, but playable as a standalone force (much like the Dhogu with the Delgon). The individual casanii will be highly elite, fast-moving troops and they will get to ride a variety of big beasts (check out the Erillai in the beasts section and the new big resin creatures in the limited release section if you want to see what sort of thing I’m working on). They’ll have plenty of cavalry and ways to move quickly across the table (clinging onto the back of big beasts etc).
I’ve sculpted the first few models and had masters cast, so you can get an idea what I am trying to do (again, have a look at the August 2015 masters if you are interested). I think I’ll try to do a big release for the Casanii in early 2016, so probably best not to delay and wait for them (although there are enough figures if anybody wants to start having a play…).
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ElectricPaladin
Jenta
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Posts: 16



« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2015, 08:37:57 pm »

Thanks! At the moment, I'm definitely leaning heavily towards Empire (Knights) for one of my forces, and I'll probably take your advice and get the Devanu as their opponents, since I bet I'd enjoy them as well.

If I wanted to play a Knight-themed Empire force, which starter box would you recommend? The Knights of Orel aren't a "true" Knightly Order, but the Central Empire box is actually more non-Knights than actual Knights. Are you guys thinking of eventually producing a Knights of Relan box? Or are the Knights sufficiently integrated into the Empire's military that the Central Empire box is the way to go, and I should just add more mounted Fubarnii at every opportunity and play with as many as I can fit into the list?
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Carcharoth
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« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2015, 06:07:25 pm »

I could tailor a knight specific force, but I think the core of militia is a good thing to have. You can paint them as militia or work them more closely in with the knights. Let me know if you would like a pure knight force though.
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ElectricPaladin
Jenta
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Posts: 16



« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2015, 06:30:47 pm »

Hm... no, I think I'd just get the central empire box. I think that having some local militia to back up my Knights is both background appropriate and sound, tactically.
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Carcharoth
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Posts: 2627



« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2015, 07:23:52 pm »

Excellent. I'll see if I can find pictures of the different shields.
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