Saturday, November 14, 2015

DaW: Mercenaries of the Vale of Traitors

Last session, the players in my Midnight Vikings ACKS game received a grant of (terrible, unsettled) land from the Troll Lord in exchange for having slain a dragon in his realm.  On their way out of his capital, they decided to hire more mercenaries, which left me in a bit of a quandary.  The normal mercenary availability table just doesn't quite fit a part of the world where horses are rare and most sentients-at-arms are orcs.  So I cooked up some custom setting-appropriate units using Domains at War and this very helpful post on the forums.

Norsemen:
Reavers: 2/4/6 Loose Foot, AC 4, HD 1-1, UHP 6, ML -1, 3 battle-axe 11+.  Wages 12gp/mo, availability as Heavy Infantry.
Norse warriors equipped with a chainmail byrnie and a battle-axe in both hands.  Traditionally used for crewing longships and raiding coastal settlements.  They are capable sailors and possess the Seafaring proficiency.  Reavers are probably best used to chase down and kill enemy light infantry, which cannot withdraw from them (because the reavers are fast) and probably cannot match them in melee.  Reavers may also be useful for harassing slow heavy infantry like dwarves.  They don't really have the morale or AC for a slugfest with fast melee infantry like orcs or for holding the line against cavalry, though.
Veteran Reavers level into the Jutland Barbarian class.  Their stats are as follows: 2/4/6 Loose Foot, AC 4, HD 1, UHP 8, ML 0, 3 battle-axe 10+, wages 24gp/mo.  Veteran Reavers can scale walls and cliffs without siege ladders ("In your monastery, killing your monks"), and are hard to kill - after a battle, only a quarter of their casualties are killed or maimed, while the remaining three fourths are lightly injured (instead of a 50-50 split for most units).
Huskarls: 2/3/4 Formed Foot, AC 5, HD 1-1, UHP 6, ML 0, 2 spear and shield 11+ melee (with bonus damage on charge) or 2 spear 11+ ranged.  Wages 11gp/mo, availability as Heavy Infantry.Norse warriors equipped with spear, shield, and chainmail and trained for defensive and field engagements.  They also possess the Seafaring proficiency.  Pretty basic heavy infantry with accompanying tactics; form a battle line for bonus morale, advance towards the enemy in a shield wall (to avoid disruption by his ranged troops and accompanying breakdown of formation), spear-charge, and then slug it out (ideally with another element of the army turning the enemy's flank).
Veteran huskarls level into Fighter, and have the following stats: 2/3/4 FF, AC 5, HD 1, UHP 8, ML 1, 3 spear and shield 10+ melee with bonus damage on charge or 3 spear 10+ ranged, wages 23gp/mo.
Skoglanders: 2/4/6 Loose Foot, AC 2, HD 1-1, UHP 6, ML 0, 3 greataxe 11+ or 2 longbow 11+.  Wages 14gp/mo, availability as Bowmen.  Upcountry tree-cutters, hunters, and inexperienced bandits armored in leather with great timber-axes and flatbows.  Skoglanders are effective missile troops (as longbowmen), but more lightly armored, stronger in melee, faster, and cheaper.  Fairly standard archer tactics; strongest before melee is joined, deploy in front of the heavy infantry, disrupt the enemy's units to delay his advance or put holes in his line that your heavy infantry can later exploit, and withdraw through the friendly heavy infantry line if under attack.  Not sure how to best use them later in the battle.
Veteran skoglanders level into Explorer, and have the following stats: 2/4/6 LF, AC 2, HD 1, UHP 6, ML 1, 4 greataxe 10+ or 3 longbow 9+, wages 26gp/mo.  Veteran skoglanders are also difficult to spot; when in obscuring terrain, they gain an additional +2 to AC against missile attacks (for a total of +4).

Skami:
Skirmishers: 2/4/6 Loose Foot, AC3, HD 1-1, UHP 6, ML -1, 2 spear 11+ or 2 javelin 11+.  Wages 6gp/mo, availability as Light Infantry.  Tribesmen from the far north practiced in hit-and-run raiding and equipped with crude ring mail, spears, and javelins.  They are trained in winter survival and the use of skis, and maintain their strategic mobility (ie, overland movement, not combat movement) in snow.  Their javelins are effective at disrupting the shield walls of enemy heavy infantry.
Veteran skirmishers level into Ivory Kingdoms Barbarians (weird, right?  But it actually makes sense with their tech level, weapon selection, and mobility focus), and have the following stats: 2/5/8 LF, AC3, HD 1, UHP 8, ML 0, 3 spear 10+ or 3 javelin 10+, wages 18gp/mo.  Veteran skirmishers are very fast for infantry (2/5/8) and hard to kill.
Hunters: 2/4/6 Loose Foot, AC1, HD 1-1, UHP 6, ML -1, 2 handaxe 11+ or 2 shortbow 11+.  Wages 8gp/mo, availability as Slingers.  Skilled hunters from the far north, proficient in the use of skis and winter survival (maybe I should make Skiing a general proficiency like Riding...).  Equipped with a shortbow, a hand-axe, and a quiver of arrows, and clad in furs.  They are effective with standard archer tactics; they're basically Bowmen with worse equipment and lower wages.
Veteran hunters level into Ivory Kingdoms Barbarians, and have the following stats: 2/5/8 LF, AC1, HD 1, UHP 8, ML 0, 3 handaxe 10+ or 3 shortbow 10+, hard to kill, wages 20gp/mo.
War Mastadons: 2/4/6 Formed Mounted, AC8, HD 19+2, UHP 6, ML +2 Unpredictable, 5 lances and tusks 6+, 6 tramples 0+ on a charge, and 2 composite bow 11+.  Wages 630GP/mo per mastadon and 6 crewmen, availability is 1d3-1 in Class I markets and 33% chance of 1 in Class II markets, with 5 mastadons per unit at company scale (only one per unit at platoon scale).  Great hairy mastadons in ring-mail barding, with an armored war-yurt containing six archers and lancers on their back.  As indicated by their unit HP, you don't have to kill the mastadon, just the guys guiding it.  Terrifying for the enemy when they charge, terrifying for their allies when they retreat.


Orcs:
Orc Pikemen: Straight from the book.  Wages 9gp/mo, availability as Slingers.
Orc Crossbowmen: Straight from the book.  Wages 6gp/mo, availability as Slingers.
Orc Boar Riders: Straight from the book.  Wages 33gp/mo, availability as Light Cavalry.

Iron Faces:
Iron Face Glaives: 2/3/4 Formed Foot, AC5, HD 1+1, UHP 10, ML 0, 3 polearm 9+.  Wages 17gp/mo, availability as Longbowmen.  The Iron Faces are disciplined, veteran orcs from the East.  They served the Great Dragon in his wars against the Wolf Khans for many years, but fell out of favor after a defeat and fled to the Troll Lord's lands, where they serve as mercenaries.  Their heavy infantry are equipped with standardized glaives, banded mail, and fearsome helmets that cover most of their faces (hence Iron Faces).
Iron Face Archers: 2/3/4 Loose Foot, AC5, HD 1+1, UHP 10, ML 0, 2 scimitar 9+ or 2 composite bow 9+.  Wages 27gp/mo, availability as Horse Archers.  The Iron Faces adopted the composite bow from their Wolf Khan opponents, and their archers, equipped with banded mail, composite bow, and scimitar, are rightly feared for their range and accuracy.
The Iron Faces do have boar cavalry (porcelry?) units, but they are typically not for hire, being the personal guards of Iron Face leaders.

Dwarves:
Dwarven Spearmen: 1/2/3 FF, AC7, HD 1, UHP 8, ML 0, 3 spear and shield 10+ (with bonus damage on charge) or 3 spear ranged 10+.  Wages 30gp/mo, availability as Heavy Cavalry (for the time being, as Gnupur the Shaven has been hiring as many dwarves as he can for his crusade to reclaim the mountainhome.  Their base wages without competition are 20gp/mo and their availability would be as Longbowmen).  Dwarven heavy infantry with plate, shield, and spear.  Slooow but hard to kill, excellent for holding a fixed position or fortification.
Dwarven Crossbowmen: 1/2/3 FF, AC6, HD 1, UHP 8, ML 0, 3 hand-axe 10+ or 3 arbalest ranged 10+.  Wages 39gp/mo, availability as Cataphracts (again, their base wages are only 26gp/mo and their base availability is as Medium Cavalry, but Gnupur is hiring aggressively).  The dwarves take an unorthodox approach to ranged combat, with their plate-armored arbalestiers holding their own in the main battle line.

1 comment:

Stephen Kissinger said...

Since cavalry is from French cheval (horse), the porcine riders should use some word derived from cochon (pig), so perhaps Cochonery?