Sunday, November 4, 2012

Craftworld Fáil: the Head of the Snake

In my last post, I detailed a basic history of my homebrew craftworld. In this one, I'll get into the nuts and bolts of its military composition and how it shapes up on the table.
As mentioned before, Craftworld Urm (its official designation) is led by the aged corsair prince Yragael. His history as an Autarch goes back to his home craftworld of Biel Tan.


I decided that the leaders of this army would tend to be military types (Autarchs, Princes and Phoenix Lords) rather than Seers. It's not that I have anything in particular against psykers - particularly in the spicy new 6th ed playzone! - but I really like those unit types and I'd like to see them played more often.

True, the Autarch took a bit of a hit in 6th edition. Master Strategist is now sub-optimal; you can only reserve half of your army and if you end up getting your on-table units stomped into oblivion before the cavalry arrives you auto-lose the game.

To represent Yragael, I decided to use my regular Autarch figure. This figure has a history of losing one arm all the time, so I figured I'd work that into the fluff. A one-armed Autarch? The hell, you say! Hey, it's FLUFF. I figure I could also use him as a Corsair Prince in a pinch. Yragael carries no transportation options such as jet packs or jump generators. Flitting around the field is not his role.

For the record, I'm not going to limit myself to playing ONLY Autarchs, but I do like the options they carry and the flavor they bring, so I am going to lean toward playing them when possible.


So how do I distinguish my special character Yragael from a standard Autarch? Well, assuming that I'm playing in a setting that allows me to write my own rules, I would add a few modifications to an existing unit's rules to try to keep things in balance.

I think the most similar special character in the current rules to Yragael (at least in my mind's eye), would be the Iyanden Autarch Yriel. I suppose I could just run Yragael as a counts-as Yriel in a tight rules environment, but where's the flava?

An Autarch is one of the most technically diverse units in the codex, able to be loaded up with a wider variety of gear than any other model we have access to. The same can be said of the Corsair Prince, so to me Yragael should be the epitome of versatility. Unlike so many other special characters, I believe he needs to be outfitted to match his role in a given list, so I'm keeping his options relatively open as far as wargear. 

Ideally I would modify Yragael from the standard autarch/corsair prince profile as follows:

  1. -1 W and -1 A to reflect his advanced age (and missing limb). 
  2. Mostly master-crafted weapon options.
  3. Yragael picks his Warlord trait rather than rolling, to reflect his  advanced sneakiness. 
  4. The usual pick of weapons from either the Autarch or  Corsair Prince armories, depending on which role he is fulfilling.  In any event, he may only be taken in the main army list (not an Ally choice). The High King answers to no one.
  5. Again, note that he will not be taking transport options (jump jets, wings, jetbike, etc).
I've toyed with an upgraded "master strategist" rule, but I find that ability rather nerfed now that 6E frowns upon null deployment. It would be hard to come up with a version of the rule that satisfies both strategic need and game balance without becoming overpowered. Thus I chose to simply let Yragael pick his own warlord trait at the beginning of the game, before deployment.

Next up are Yragael's three sons. Other than the decision to mount one on a jetbike while the other two are set up with jump generators or swooping hawk wings, I haven't made any definitive decisions regarding their load-out. More to come!

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