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#1 FrantzFanon

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Posted 23 March 2007 - 07:52 PM

Hey all, first off with the introductions. My name is Sojung and I'm an expatriate Korean in New Zealand.

One of the newest hobbies I picked up whilst living in NZ was wargaming... Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000 to be specific, produced by the arguably the most successful gaming company in the world, Games Workshop.

Why did I come to this thread?

Well, I enjoy history in general, also I am a history and politics double maj. student at the moment, with a healthy dose of South Pacific history (considering I'm in NZ) as well as Southeast Asian history.

However my real intent to join this forum was to ask you all a small favour. You see... at the 'warseer' forums for war gaming, there have been numerous arguments over the representation of Cathay as a faction in the Warhammer fantasy universe (so fantasy, not sci-fi). As you can tell from the name, Cathay is the representation or caricature of China when Marco Polo visited. You see, the factions in the game are all caricatures of human history, either the worst of human emotions, or the worst of human actions... or the best of human history with a cynical twist.

Easy examples of this idea are;
1. Bretonnians - based around medieval Europe, especially medieval France and the legends of King Arthur. As a result, the faction comprises of a poor serf infantry based army (literally meat shield in gaming terms) and a collection of knights as the social elites. Visually, the serfs are more or less in-bred in appearance, and haggard. The Knights are the opposite.
2. Empire - based around Late Medieval period, the Holy Roman Empire, the Italian republics, and the European Renaissance in general, the Empire is a collection of 12 states. The faction uses a lot of gunpowder weapons (the handguns used before muskets were developed) as well as a large artillery train. Also their infantry is the most powerful aspect of its military, comprising of halberdiers, spearmen, swordsmen, the militia, crossbowmen and elite 'Greatswords' a fantasy representation of Landsknechts. They also use a lot of heavy late medieval period knights, plate armour, plumes and feathers ... Visually they are typically the 'puff-and-slash' army. With loads of religious connotations through skulls and animal bones and trinkets.
3. Ogre Kingdoms - based around Central Asian nomadic tribes, Ogres in appearance are very 'Asiatic' and ... well you can go to the Games Workshop website and check them out... they are a nomadic race of mercenaries who are brutally fast because they are simply bigger than normal people, after all they are Ogres.

Now, amongst the dozen or so factions, there are only two official human factions... there have been others mentioned in the history (the gamers call history within the game 'fluff'). But these 'eastern kingdoms' have only been mentioned in the maps, or few snippets of 'fluff' written by 'contemporary' human scholars. These forces are as follows and they are not canon.
Land of Araby - Arabian kingdoms
Kingdom of Ind - India
Grand Cathay - China
Nippon - Japan
Hinterlands of Khuresh - possibly Sri Lanka ... but not really talked about amongst the gamers, but geographically it is next to India, so it could be the south of China, Yunan province, or maybe even Vietnam... or Tibet that's been twisted around to the south...

Some of the most recent 'fluff' says of Cathay - 'of the East, little is known... most is rumour and speculation ... greatest power in the east is the Grand Empire of Cathay... the Celestial Dragon Emperor, believed by some to be an actual Dragon in the form of a Man ... untold millions of subjects ... north of Cathay is protected ... by the Great bastion ... massive wall that stretches for hundreds of miles ... garrison tens of thousands strong ... armies of Cathay are said to be unnumerable, and draw exotic warriors from all across the realm ... fiece hill people ... strange warrior monks and well disciplined armies supported by heavily armoured warriors and ornate cannons...' (7th edition Warhammer Rulebook, Alessio Cavatore ed.)

From older texts they are generally characterised with information like this;
  • jade cities
  • spice trades across the Araby (middle-east) on the Silk Road
  • temples for astrologists (so they are obviously more reliant on science and astrology rather than the Empire which is a puritanical religious force where science and innovation is very limited)
  • a presumably meritocratic scholar administration who record every word of the Emperor
  • mystical temple guardian animals - stone dogs, serpent dragons
  • polytheism rather than monotheism
  • mystic brotherhoods of monks who can kill you with a touch of a hand
  • strange monkey warriors living high in the Mountains of Heaven
"Most of these tales are highly fanciful, but certainly the Empire of the Celestial Dragon must be a wondrous and rich place..." (6th edition Warhammer Rulebook, Alexxio Cavatore ed.)

+-+-+

So that's the current situation, Cathay has the most amount of history compared to other minor human factions. However, they are exactly that, mostly fanciful stories of travelers, with great possibilities of exaggeration.

What has been happening recently is that a lot of suggestions for a Cathay army has been the following 'guidelines' by the public;
  • Numerous peasant infantry (low fighting skills and low armour and basically peasants that have been forcibly drafted into service with no training)
  • Fast cavalry (based around nomadic tribes)
  • Heavy Lancers (from the few people who have seen the movie Hero)
  • Infantry armed with gunpowder weaponry
  • Jade dogs as mounts for martial artist generals
  • Astrological 'wizards'
  • Warrior monks in numerous numbers (like 40+ as a single fighting unit)
And history wise the people seem to be a bit confused, initially they wanted an almost tyrannical Emperor that abused his powers constantly to get the state to work efficiently. From this sprouted many imaginative ideas of the Emperor of Cathay contrasting with the elected Emperor of the Empire. I felt that in the war gaming forums immense amount of ignorance and pressure to conform to certain 'stereotypes' that the public offered themselves as the guidelines for designing a Cathay faction.

To my argument I proposed a refined selection of guidelines, after visiting this forum several times as a guest, I decided on several of these features;
  • Infantry as a professional army; (after all in the 'fluff' they are meant to be professional soldiers, not conscripts)
  • Cavalry as an extension of the 'professional' cadre of soldiers
  • Weapons wise a lot of people proposed scimitars and fighting sticks... again, I proposed various different types of Chinese blades and weapons.
That was as far as I went in terms of guidelines, after all this was a fantasy army, and I wanted a lot of room to put some fun stuff in there.

A lot of people disagreed with the guidelines, they said, that I am simply promoting Cathay as the nice army because I was Asian...
So ... I decided to reform some of those guidelines, and bring it to a level which people MIGHT enjoy more;

Cheap Infantry:
  • Medium Armour - wealth of state and professionalism
  • Tridents with shields/Two-man Crossbow teams - just to mimic Hero
  • Numbers - should have numbers, but we haven't really figured out how to make this 'balanced' in the game.
Expensive Infantry:
  • Heavy armour
  • The veteran sort of unit- so overall better at everything than the cheaper infantry
  • A small suggestion to make these guys a bit 'gung-ho' or learned in the Art of War (i know it's unrealistic but again, like said, Fantasy element, push the facts to extreme); so these guys would stick around to fight a little harder than the normal soldiers. But they wouldn't be die-hards like the Empire elite soldiers (these guys had rules to never give ground, no matter the cost; i viewed the Cathay elites to be some what different in that, they will fight doggedly, but if it makes sense to give ground, they will)
  • Swords and Shields - just to be a little practical - but this is where I'm not sure on history wise, would there really have been an elite cadre of soldiers with specific weapons configurations?
Idea of Martial Arts:
  • aside from the warrior monkeys and brotherhood of monks, I personally felt that martial arts wasn't really part of Chinese military... so I elected an idea that it should be reserved for peasant/monk heroes. This was based on the justification that a single lowly hero who could fight for the masses was a better ideal - sort of the Hero idea again.
  • a second point I raised was that Martial Arts would increase not only fighting ability but the person's mentality and persona would be influenced as well, in this sense, the European martial arts and ways of making war will also contribute in their own way, and therefore Martial Arts itself shouldn't make the Cathay heroes any superior to the Empire or Bretonnian Heroes.
Cavalry:
I think the whole forum was a little unsure about the following idea;
  • Medium-Heavy armour with barded horses, lancers, swords ... again, this was mainly based around my younger days of reading the Korean comic version of Romances of the Three Kingdoms... and just as an homage to that point, decided to add a cavalry hero with a Guan dao...
Artillery:
  • Here I simply gave an impression of mobile artillery based on traditional siege weapons - such as ballista and catapults, with light cannons and heavy crossbows. because from my knowledge Cannons weren't usually lugged around too much? But again this is why I'm here...
  • I also proposed an idea of Chinese chess cannons... that IF there were to be mobile 'cannons' then they would be attached to an infantry regiment and will act as a fire support unit... - of course in gaming terms, the artillery cannot fire and move at the same time, so the infantry will either have to remain with the artillery to allow it to fire, or the artillery will have to sacrifice it's ability to fire for mobility. However, this way, it would be like the gaming piece in Chinese Chess as well, how it starts off behind the infantry. Again, this is for the 'Chinese flavour in a fantasy way'... rather than being anything based on real fact.
Monsters - i could only find Ki-Lin in my books, but wikipedia had quite a bit more.
  • I didn't know how to treat monsters historically, so I decided to treat them as gaming pieces first, than history second. In this sense they were proposed as several different types of gaming pieces;
  • Shock unit - in the form of infantry, cavalry, or artillery form
  • Centrepiece - basically in gaming term these are super units that tend to get a lot of attention from enemy missile weapons...
  • Hero mount - see above
And that's as far as I went. People are still proposing a much more stereotypical 'Chinese' imagery, with tonnes of martial artists, brutal peasant human waves, gunpowder units and statues coming to life as mystical beasts... I feel that these are very old and tiring ideas that have been used in many different media, and I wish there to be something different. There have been arguments that this is a European gaming company so it should be in their bias, after all it's first mention in the gaming world was when an Explorer (like Marco Polo) reached Cathay on a trading expedition.

So... after that incredibly long introduction, I am here to ask you, to post your ideas of a fantasy-Chinese army under the name Cathay. I wish that everyone will contribute in terms of creating ideas, in refining what I have already put with curt historical arguments...

Please, any contribution would be great. It doesn't matter what it is, I would like read about it. It doesn't matter which period of Chinese history the ideas may be from, after all, the Empire alone condenses 500 years of European history into 12 different states...

Also, I plan on using the information you post here as a personal project, I will NOT post your ideas and suggestions and corrections on any other website other than this one. I will also ask your permission first to post them elsewhere, once I have refined them for the gaming world. And even then, during the research and development phase, I will constantly ask you for your help...

Lastly, I will also be doing my own research on the forums constantly, checking out the military, history, art and folklore/mythology sections. So just know that I am not here to sit by and copy-paste your ideas… I will do my best to counter and add to your ideas.

Thank you for reading this
Mods sorry if this is in the wrong section or breaks any rules I have forgotten about, like I wasn’t sure if this was the right place to create the thread, so move it about to the place you see fit.


sojung

#2 TMPikachu

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 04:58 PM

In-game relatable knowledge on Cathay...

Ogre Kingdom ogres, some of them use "Cathayan long swords". They give +1 ws, +1 initiative, -1 to armor save.
They appear as large two handed cleaving blades, like on this Ogre Maneater. That was probably custom made for the ogre's use though.

Posted Image

Posted Image

The Eshin clan skaven also employ ninja-style skirmishers. Their history goes...

Clan Eshin disappeared from the Skaven society of the Old World many centuries ago and was considered lost. Eventually, its members returned to Skavenblight, though many of their habits had changed. Clan Eshin had traveled widely, learned much in distant lands like Inja, Cathay, and Nippon, and perfected the art of silent and stealthy warfare. As such, Clan Eshin provides Assassins as well as light skirmishing troops and infiltrators called Night Runners and Gutter Runners to the Skaven horde.


They employ envenomed weapons, fighting claws, throwing stars.

Posted Image

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(so they are obviously more reliant on science and astrology rather than the Empire which is a puritanical religious force where science and innovation is very limited)

The empire is still capable of building gatling firearms, steam powered tanks, even a clockwork horse. Technology is the main domain of The Empire in WHF, though dwarves also have some nifty stuff (I think a steam powered helicopter).


A lot of people disagreed with the guidelines, they said, that I am simply promoting Cathay as the nice army because I was Asian...


well, ****, yeah! The only playable 'asians' in WHF are fatass (but completely awesome and I love them) ogres and slant eyed hobgoblins, of course I'd want a better alternative!

I see High Elves as the only thing close to being Asian styled anyways.

Flying through the air wuxia, leaping from tree to tree, in WHF that is the domain of the Hoeth Swordmasters. The way they style their armor, flowing robes, reminds me of Lokapala, Celestial dieties.
Dark Elves occupy the role of Wo'kuo raiders, they even do that off the coast of Cathay.



and you know, WHF empire, brettonians, they are based around dark ages, very early renaissance europeans. At that time , the Europeans were IN AWE of the East. That's why in WHF the Empire risks the lives of 100's of men to travel for months/years across super-dangerous territory to go get some stuff from Cathay.

Marco Polo, what he wrote, he was pretty much saying "these people are far more advanced than we are, their art, their cities, their wealth, their technology far surpasses ours", and he was from. I think the WHF version of Marco Polo is called "Marco Columbo"

and this guy is from VENICE, in ITALY, what most consider the nexus of European culture, and he can't stop talking about how completely superior China was to his home.



WHF is all about extremes, yeah? Brettonia is extremely poor, The Empire is extremely Dirty
so make Cathay EXTREMELY WEALTHY. Which they are, relatively. Imperial Guardsmen clad in the finest steel scales with gold lining, silken robes, and magnificent weapons with fearsome dragon head designs riding steeds that trace their lineage to dragons, they're going to make muddy empire troops and diseased brettonians look like c**p.

Though... the role of 'snooty cultured bastards' is already taken by the Elves in WHF...


But I guess to be fair, the Empire and Brettonia already show strong negative traits. Empire lets you field a unit of insane religious psychos!
Brettonia... you know what's the difference between Brettonians and orks? Orks are smarter and have a better grasp of tactics.
Brettonians are your unwashed dirty sticks peasant horde army (their infantryman have ws2 I think...), ruled over by a strict caste system where your birth determines your destiny, with ironclad nobles to enforce the status quo.
Just tell them that, when people suggest giant peasant hordes and insane rulers with impossibly strict social codes "HEY THATS ALREADY BRETTONIA, WE'RE TRYING TO MAKE A NEW ARMY HERE PLZ"

BUT THE DIFFERENCE IS

if an Empire player chooses so, he can not field the psycho religious fanatics, and have a nice army of disciplined troops and mighty cannons.

if a Brettonian player chooses so, he can leave the flea bitten peasant rabble to toil in the fields, and field only heroic mounted knights.


and therefore Martial Arts itself shouldn't make the Cathay heroes any superior to the Empire or Bretonnian Heroes.


I was thinking that too, but... Brettonians get the Blessing of the Lady and other magical effects, Empire have Steam Tanks and gatling cannons or something... it wouldn't be so unfair to have Cathayan martial artists with ws/i above 6, as long as they are restricted. As in the basic 'ws6 w3' human general unit of Cathay will be the same as Empire's and Brettonia's, but their extra flavor unit (like Empire Engineers riding mechanical horse with miniguns) can get crazy stats.
The Skaven assassins get quite powerful practicing martial arts, so the originators of their arts should be as strong, if not stronger.

Deathmaster Snikt is a Skaven special assassin character, his ws is 10, his initiative 10, that's the limit of WHF skill. That's higher than the greatest Highelven hero, Dwarven hero, chaos mortal hero! Though I think Dark Elves have an assassin with 10's too.


goodguys


actually, are you familiar with the TAU in 40k?

When they came out, some people were outraged

"why are they so CLEAN?"
"why are they seemingly so NICE? They offer peaceful surrender in the Grim Darkness of the Future!?"
"WHERE ARE THE SKULLS!?"

and now Tau are doing great, being different was part of it.
And in reality, they really aren't all that nice and... they all have japanese accents and pilot knockoffs of various anime mecha.



----


here's my general outline idea...


Heroes/Lords
general
spellcaster
martial artist (ninja master, sword saint, that kind of thing. Will kill the hell out of stuff in hth combat.)


-Core

basic 3's infantry with spears, halberds, bows, crossbows, etc.
light cavalry scouts/archers

-Special

specialist human units with unique weapons, elite training, for example Northern Garrison troops wielding two handed zhanmadao

heavy cavalry of the 3 kingdoms style, like all wielding glaives and composite bows

ninja type skirmishers

light war machines (bolt thrower for example)


-Rare

mythological stuff, like...


super duper elite humans with some magical enhancement (for example, brettonians have pegasus knights) Dragon-Blooded Imperial Guardsmen riding Heavenly Horses

ninja skirmishers with ninjitsu magic

Magical monsters like, a dragon, maybe summoned demon ogres.

heavy artillery


I'll add more later.

Edited by TMPikachu, 02 April 2007 - 06:07 PM.

"the way has more than one name, and wise men have more than one method. Knowledge is such that it may suit all countries, so that all creatures may be saved..."

#3 Mei Houwang

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 06:19 PM

Warhammer is usually based off of late medieval europe, so that would be the Ming dynasty. During this time it's best to have some "authentic" units related to rockets, such as the "swarm of bees", firelancers, flamethrowers, land/water mines, etc... I always loved the Ming time, usually because the gunpowders weapons are so wierd(or authentic), which makes it stand out more so than other dynasties.

Cheap peasants would be a really big turn-off for me, and probably an insult to many Chinese history lovers. But whatever the majority feels goes I guess. If one must have some cheap-mass produced army, Age of Empires is the way to go. Instead of focusing on how Chinese women just magically have more babies, they made China an economic powerhouse which is able to support large armies, so that in itself may be excusable.

If those Warhammer idiots ever come out with a peasant wave/martial artist based stereotypical Chinese army, than me and my Asian brothers would be forced to karate-chop those stupid bastards and swarm all over them with our superior numbers.

#4 FrantzFanon

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 07:13 PM

Thanks for the comments so far.

TMPikachu:

Thanks for your version of the Cathay. personally, I'm trying to go for large infantry blocks that are well equipped and armoured. (again, to represent Cathay's wealth).

I've seen some of the youtube videos about the korean hwacha as well as the 'cannon/mortar' that was seen in these boards... and i thought that might be a nice way to introduce the 'imperial' theme to Cathay, the idea of multiple cultures under one military power... so, 'korean' artillery crew and siege specialists.

In terms of units themselves here are some historical units that I've had in mind to 'fantasy-ify' into warhammer;
  • Manchu musketeers (i like the armour they wore in Rise of Nations)
  • Fire Lance (another Rise of Nations infantry armed with a gunpowder rocket lance thing they launch - apparently something like 'li hua ch'iang')
  • Tigermen (just as elite skirmishers)
  • Manchu Cavalry c.1625 (again I like the armour)
  • Camel mounted artillery (they called it the silk gun or something?)
  • I also liked the look of the "Armoured infantryman, Northern Ch'i" from the Osprey series; he is wearing 'liang-tang armour with plaques'.
  • Another imagery from Osprey series; Ming Halberdier c.1400; I like the hypothetical 'soft hat' with plumes they wear to battle, kinda reminds me of the Korean drum dancers (I don't know what they are in Korean...)
  • Osprey imagery continuing; Ming elite cavalry trooper; without armour, but with the soft hat again, i like this image because of the robes are not typical 'oriental' robes with the ribbons coming down the front. The book mentions 'uniform mentioned in Wu Pei Chih'.
  • Osprey series; Drummers and Rocketeer; again, Ming period, and these guys just look too cool not to have them cast in 28mm fashion.
  • I am essentially aiming to stay away from images of Chinese infantry that are commonly used in European fiction. So, no Boxer Rebellion type infantry, or peasants in their robes ...
What would Dragon-Blooded infantry be? I've never heard that before.
I'm not sure about 'Ninjas' per se in the Cathay army, they are distinctively a Japanese thing in popular culture, and in the Warhammer world, the Nipponese are a separate race, with their own cadres of 'ninjas'. If assassins are to be included then I don't want them in the Cathay army, with black fatigues and throwing stars... too much Japanese influence. Even if it's historically true that China used assassins too.

on the subject of the Tau. After the second codex came out, they are definitely no longer the 'good' communitarian-utilitarians of the far flung future... they are now the neo-colonial army. Very much akin to Japanese expansion during the early twentieth century into mainland Asia, their attitude is that of 'contempt' (and that's saying it nicely) for the 'conquered' people. Not to mention the Eurocentric disregard for those peoples' cultures and heritage in a paternalistic manner, 'Tau-centric' ... (because there are numerous fluff pieces where the Tau ask for cooperation as long as it's within their conditions, i.e. abandon the Imperial faith, believe in the caste system, work for the Greater Good rather than for one self... etc etc)

Anthrophobia


I know exactly what you mean about the 'stereotypical' China-man army coming out. I find it unbelievable that some people argue for the steam-punk boxing rebellion type imagery, because it's the way the British see the Chinese as 'fun' fantasy versions.

Or how other non-Asian people claim that Chinese armies were filled with Martial Artists. I know that Martial arts was to some extent used to train infantry, but that's exactly the point. They were soldiers trained in martial arts, they weren't martial artists (a definition i use for individuals who train to become martial artists).

A peasant army is also completely non-Chinese. I just don't understand how they managed to screw up history so badly.

I've tried to balance out the wealth and number of the Cathay army by doing the following;
Cheap units - but high armour and decent enough weapon training (so super cheap average soldiers that will stand ground for a relative amount of time, but the cheapness mean that there will be a lot of them)
Cavalry - follows the same suit but obviously they aren't so cheap.

I too love the Ming infantry, I find their juxtaposition of gunpowder and 'classical' Chinese military theme very interesting. And is a unique imagery of China that is a better place to start imagining up Cathay, rather than peasant rabble and martial artists.

sj

#5 TMPikachu

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 07:30 PM

Dragon Blooded, well that term comes from the RPG Exalted, but I just used it as something mystical sounding.


On ninjas... well, let's look at the current WHF human armies, Empire and Brettonia

the human standard of a trained soldier is...
ws 3 bs 3 s3 t3 w3 i3 a1 ld 7

Brettonia's poorly trained peasant rabble have ws2/bs2 I believe, and possibly lower ld

highly skilled duelists/swordsmen of Empire have ws4 i4, I think these stats are more to make up for their equipment (just swords, no ranked spears, halberds), than really fluffily say they are that skilled though.

knighthood, of Empire and Brettonia, get ws4 and ld8

super-elite Empire knights, Inner Circle, get s4

and Brettonia has many ranks of powerful knights, culminating in (I think) ws5 pegasus riding knights


The 'normal human' part of empire is it's...
-average trained troops with a variety of weapons
-skilled knights, elite knights
-artillery units

The 'fantastic' part of Empire is...
-religious fanatics
-Very powerful artillery

I guess their 'drawback' is, not much magical stuff

Brettonia has...
-very crappy peasant horde driven into war by knights (orcs n' goblins sort of relationship)
-elite knights

the 'fantastic' part of Brettonia is...
-magical knights on magical mounts, magical protection
-magical protection from missiles

the 'drawback' is...
-lack of technology
-weak shooting skills




Looking at nonhuman armies...
Dwarves
+ toughness, very high leadership, skill, good magic
- numbers, mobility

Elves
+ high skill, high mobility, powerful magic, high leadership
- numbers, units are relatively expensive for their armor value

Orcs n' Goblins
+ high numbers
- low leadership




right, on ninjas... their existence in reality and history is rather vague anyways. I would add them in even if it's more a Nippon thing, just 'cause people like ninjas.

stats...

basic trained Cathay trooper
ws3 bs3 ld7 average human soldier stats

ninja/elite skirmisher/barbarian fighter/Fubing Commando
ws4 i4, but restrict their equipment (that high ws and high i makes up for it)

imperial cavalry
ws4, ld8

super elite imperial guardsmen
ws4 s4 ld8

ld7 represents averaged disiplined troop
ld8 represents somebody who's career is war, the elite
ld9 is heroic individuals that rise to positions of leadership or handpicked bravest men of all the lands
ld10 is legendary commanders or completely insane psychos.

i3 is average
i4 is a barbarian in tune with the wilds or a master swordsman

Edited by TMPikachu, 02 April 2007 - 07:35 PM.

"the way has more than one name, and wise men have more than one method. Knowledge is such that it may suit all countries, so that all creatures may be saved..."

#6 Mei Houwang

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 07:34 PM

Osprey imagery continuing; Ming elite cavalry trooper; without armour, but with the soft hat again, i like this image because of the robes are not typical 'oriental' robes with the ribbons coming down the front. The book mentions 'uniform mentioned in Wu Pei Chih'.
Osprey series; Drummers and Rocketeer; again, Ming period, and these guys just look too cool not to have them cast in 28mm fashion.


I wouldn't go with Osprey pictures of Ming soldiers duing that time period though. The drawings are very... inaccurate, at best. It reminds me of a mix of nomad-hairstyled Southeast Asian armies rather than Chinese armies(not to mention every one of them looks like a complete wuss, lol). Don't know about you but Osprey have a knack of drawing Chinese armies into extremely uncool versions and still remain historically accurate, and if something just HAS to be drawn cool(such as the Ming armies, the period we are talking about), they would make it look uncool by drawing historically inaccurate pictures. Of course, how "cool-looking" something is is just an opinion, but the above goes for me.

Manchu musketeers (i like the armour they wore in Rise of Nations)


I don't think Manchus used as much guns as the Ming, unless you are talking about later Qing musketeers. But by then their armour is hardly the good-looking one as depicted in Rise of Nations.


Camel mounted artillery (they called it the silk gun or something?)



Hmmm, never heard of it in actual history, but it's Warhammer, so anything goes.

Here I simply gave an impression of mobile artillery based on traditional siege weapons - such as ballista and catapults, with light cannons and heavy crossbows. because from my knowledge Cannons weren't usually lugged around too much? But again this is why I'm here...


Usually cannons replace ballistaes and trebuchets, although to me the Ming focused much more on Rocketry.

Hero mount - see above


Mounts for heroes can go from kirin(as you stated) to magical deers, tigers, panthers, phoenixes, etc... as depicted in historic artistry and stories(mostly revolving around the story of Nazha and the rebellion against the Shang).


Anyway, so far the only fantasy world I know that had a country that represented China positively would be the world of the Forgoten Realms. However, Faerun portrayed China VERY VERY VERY positively. It's technology compared to the rest of the world is like Star Wars(the China in the Forgotten Realms can travel to other planets through a mix of magic and shipbuilding tech) to medieval Europe, no kidding. Talk about unrealistically overpowered. Any power like that in the real world would have already started world domination(I, too, can dominate the world, but the miniscule effort required is just not challenging enough for my super-duper-intelligence).

Edited by Anthrophobia, 03 April 2007 - 01:24 AM.


#7 TMPikachu

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 02:00 AM

"To send the common people to war untrained is to throw them away"
-Confucius, Analects

as for visuals..... yeah, Osprey has a knack for making very... un-heroic lookin' troops, even if they are historically accurate.
All the good Angus McBride Asians are nomads.

for yer regular troops:

Here's a block print done by Hokusai, it's a Ming warrior (possibly a general?) shooting a barbarian
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WHF terms, an elite cavalry soldier in heavy armor


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Tang era cavalryman. Has a more 'fantasy' feel compared to Ming style stuff I'd say.
Could be called heavy armor, as the body is well covered.


These next few are from a 3 Kingdoms PS2 game, art done by Katsuya Terada (he does a killer Monkey King comic too)
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a more mundane, but still 'fantasy' feeling soldier. Can represent the well equipped soldiers of Cathay

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more heroic individuals, could be commanders and generals, magic armor, etc.


pictures from an Outlaws of the Marsh set

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these scruffy looking guys would be a great basis for basic infantry. Has that nice WHF 'unwashed' feeling, but not c**p equipment.
arms and legs exposed, so you could call it 'light armor'


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infantry in heavy armor

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uniform of an elite warrior type, or a commander, heavy armor as it goes down length of arms and legs
"the way has more than one name, and wise men have more than one method. Knowledge is such that it may suit all countries, so that all creatures may be saved..."

#8 TMPikachu

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 02:03 AM

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a young commander studying, or maybe a warrior with spellcasting ability?

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a wise old veteran of many wars

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a spellcaster. I think... Cathayan spellcasters should use straight double edged swords as their mediums to conduct magic.



Here's one from the Smithsonian, a Ming dynasty scroll painting of celestial warriors crossing the clouds

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shows how heavy and light armor are differentiated. Notice some are riding dragons or other dragon-like beings.



Hmmm... here's a thought, maybe Cathayans have a different attitude towards Chaos than the Old World.
That would be a pretty radical change though, and might be too much.


alright, off the top of my head, idea for a rough Cathay outline.

Lords/Heroes
-warrior-general type
-wizard
(you know, 2w, 3w, basic human stuff)

-special: Sword Saint/Ninja Master/Monk Master: w2, possibly ws7, or i7, special abilities


Core: the mainstay

-Imperial infantrymen: basic soldier stats, access to light armor, hand weapons, shield, spear, halberd, crossbow, longbow, repeating crossbow (but with limitations, since right now repeaters are a Dark Elf thing)

*-Imperial light cavalry: basic soldier stats, , access to spear, shield, light armor, longbow

Special: the Elite, Specialists

*-ninja/commando/skirmishers: skirmish, ws4 i4, hand weapons, throwing stars,

*-gunpowder troops: fire lances, bombs, heavy crossbows with exploding bolts, that sort of thing

*-elite infantry: ex: Northern Garrison troops in heavy armor wielding Zhanmadao, bonus to recieving charges against cavalry (that's their training)

*-elite cavalry, nomad archers (bs4 light cavalry)

*-elite heavy cavalry, barded steeds, heavy armor, longbows, halberds (3 Kingdoms style), above average stats

*- medium scale war machine, like a bolt thrower, maybe a small rocket battery, light cannon, etc.


*= could be Core too, or combined with core, like Fire Lances being an upgrade for infantrymen, throwing bombs, etc.



Rare: Where things get magical. just throwing out ideas.


- super amazing heavy rocket battery

- Celestial Dragon Monks: that name has already been mentioned in WHF, it implies some mystic wuxia kungfu stuff.
or...
- super elite ninja/commando squad: Got this idea from the Storm of Chaos Skaven, Eshin armies can field a trio of Skaven Assassins with restricted equipment as a rare choice.

- Iron Pagoda (or whatever fancy name) super elite Imperial cavalrymen riding dragon-blooded steeds (use rules as Elven steeds)

- God-blooded warriors: they have the blood of spirits, gods in them granting powers (magic resistence? more magic power dice? above human stats?)

- some kind of scary monster like... the stone lion, that is a pretty cool idea.

- large war machine,

- hmmm... reformed demons? This is probably too much though, as WHF has established Chaos as just absolute uncompromising evil.






The first priority is to Bring something New to WHF, or just be interesting. Historic accuracy shouldn't be strict, but it should be there as a draft to base it on. Then of course is balance, can't have them do everything Empire can + more, that kind of thing.


Pretty much the feel I would go for is... "More magical than the Empire, but less huge guns and crazy technology. Shootier than Brettonia, but not as much magical protection/less cavalry"


stats...
mundane troops get regular human stats
elite skirmishers get ws4 i4
heavy cavalry have ws4 bs3 i8, elite heavy cavalry would get s4 too.

Since Ogre Kingdoms already has Cathayan longswords.... maybe convert them into Cathayan cavalry weapons

making effectively ws5 i4 s3(-1 to armor) troops, that's alright, chaos still hits a ton harder, and the lack of shields makes them more vulnerable.


For wuxia/ninja/sword saint/monk elements... take a look at Wood Elf Wardancers, Dark Elf Assassins, High Elf Swordmasters, Skaven Assassins, those are all the kungfu guys in WHF.


ah, here's another idea

in WHF, the Empire humans has regular contact with the dwarves, and have learned much from them, such as armor crafting and I believe gunpowder.


you could have Cathay maintain contact with some Elves. Though the closest ones would be Dark Elves (who raid the Cathay coastline).

on some WHF map I saw before, there are elven fortresses in Cathay and Nippon.
This could explain things like... maybe Cathayans using martial arts similiar to highelf Hoeth swordmasters.
using repeating crossbows like Dark Elves (reverse engineered from Dark Elf raiders?)
Perhaps some Ilithmar equipment.

Edited by TMPikachu, 03 April 2007 - 02:57 AM.

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#9 FrantzFanon

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 02:46 AM

wow pikachu! those are amazing!
I've never been able to find those kinds of images so far in my locality... hence resorting to Osprey.
So there goes my liking for the series lol.

Anthrophobia, please do not hesitate to smack me down verbally here. To me something I've never seen before usually mean something cool... and since I've never read history of China or read anything about the military until recently, everything I find (even bad resources like Osprey) comes up being something totally fantastical.

But I see it's good to be around people who have already had the experience of wider reading (like yourself I assume).

I believe you are right about the Manchu/Qing musketeers.
I like to get inspired by this image when it comes to 'stock' infantry, they remind me of the RON Manchu Musketeers, however here they are Qing soldiers.
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but after seeing the swathe of images from TMPikachu, my brain's just churning out one thing after another...

Couple of "quick" questions;
1. In some of the readings I've done, the importance of 'Banners' came about... and they were central, in the Chinese military organisation? If so, in what way? Were different 'armies' in charge of defending a specific banner? or was it merely a symbolic designation? If i recall correctly, the Soviet Army in ww2 had a similar 'banner system' of different armies being assigned to protecting and hoisting banners in Berlin. Any similarities?

2. How did the infantry fight as individuals? If you watch some of the movies about European military conflict (Kingdom of Heaven and Braveheart off the top of my head), you see how a huge mess the battles were... just hacking and slashing without any form of 'skill' (I don't think that's the right word, but they certainly lack 'finesse'). In 'that' Tom Cruise movie, "the Last Samurai", although there was chaos, the Samurai fight relatively ... with finesse, they seem to know where their blade should hit on the enemy, and it seems like 'co-ordinated' brutality. Or would that be merely Hollywood's interpretation of history and distorting it for public consumption? How did the Chinese infantry fight? They had all those spears... did they prod and push like the European style? I heard they didn't... so how would they fight?

3. In your opinion, what do you think about the battlescenes in Hero? Would they come close to depicting the Chinese Imperial Army and it's military conduct? I find it interesting that the crossbows are fairly large, and two men carry it and operate it...

Lastly, I thought I would fudge in a possible Cathay military doctrine, and I thought I could ask for your advice on it's plausibility. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this in my first post, but I'll write it out clearer here;

Cannon and Soldiers
As you deploy your pieces in Chinese Chess, your cannon pieces deploy behind the infantry line, but ahead of the support pieces like the Palace Guards, and Elephants, and Chariots. Usually in a game of Warhammer, artillery are deployed as far back as possible, unless they are designed for close support - however these close support artillery pieces require immense amount of 'babysitting' or will need to be sacrificed later on in the game after they've dealt their punishment on the enemy... (ala the Helblaster, Ratling Cannon, Warpfire Thrower teams).

I propose that the Cathay infantry can be given a 'detachment' of artillery units, that are light pieces;
Silk guns
Korean cannons (on youtube that fire big metal arrows as well as the actual cannon bomb rounds.)
or Heavy Crossbow teams like Hero.
or the Rocketeer/Firelancers that can saturate the enemy at close range.

This kinda works like the Chinese Chess deployment I've mentioned before, they are indeed cheaper than heavier artillery, but because they deploy with the infantry they become a very useful support tool. The negatives I propose are that, unlike the Empire detachment tactics, where the detachment units act independently of the parent unit, the Cathay gun detachment must operate within a certain distance (6") of the parent unit. This means, the infantry must sacrifice it's mobility to allow the cannon to fire, or the cannon must sacrifice it's ability to fire so that the infantry may move - because artillery cannot move AND shoot at the same time.

what do you think?

sj

#10 TMPikachu

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 01:28 PM

On the banner system... I think it was just a name for different (I do not know the correct term, but...) divisions of armies. Part of organization.

2. How did the infantry fight as individuals? If you watch some of the movies about European military conflict (Kingdom of Heaven and Braveheart off the top of my head), you see how a huge mess the battles were... just hacking and slashing without any form of 'skill' (I don't think that's the right word, but they certainly lack 'finesse'). In 'that' Tom Cruise movie, "the Last Samurai", although there was chaos, the Samurai fight relatively ... with finesse, they seem to know where their blade should hit on the enemy, and it seems like 'co-ordinated' brutality. Or would that be merely Hollywood's interpretation of history and distorting it for public consumption?


I think it's up to style. Most hollywood movies with medieval contact focus on the brutality, the chaos.
Shaking cameras that zig zag, sudden cuts, heavy tinting (towards blue usually), it can also make up for the lack of training in actors. But chaos and brutality are the moods of the movie

Last Samurai though, wanted to focus on the 'noblility' of the samurai, so their fights weren't as messy. But the actual art I've seen of Japanese warfare, it's samurais pinning down people to behead them, carrying around heads on poles, wrestling another to the ground to sink their dagger into their faces, etc. Depends on the mood you want to convey.

But yeah, Kingdom of Heaven, I watched that and Jackie Chan's The Myth on the same day, very different cinematics. Kingdom of Heaven used camera work to emphasize the chaos of warfare, the focus was not on the individual but to portray the idea of battle. The Myth had more steady, longer shots to highlight the skill of the actors in the middle of battle. They are just different ways to shoot.

I would not bother too much with this, and it would be easily criticized.
ws3-4 is Kingdom of Heaven style grimey brutal combat
ws5 is heroic,
ws6 is the human limit
ws7 is inhuman mastery (1,000 year old elven swordmaster, chaos warlord, skaven master assassin, legendary humans)

3. In your opinion, what do you think about the battlescenes in Hero? Would they come close to depicting the Chinese Imperial Army and it's military conduct? I find it interesting that the crossbows are fairly large, and two men carry it and operate it...

as far as I know that was made up to look cool. I wouldn't bother with too many specialties, Cathayan crossbows following the same rules as empire crossbows should be fine.


what do you think?


hmmm, well, just think about, what are going to be the Strengths of Cathay, Drawbacks, relative to Empire, Brettonia, and other WHF armies?
Be careful you don't end up with guys who can outshoot empire and outcharge brettonia both.



General thoughts...
if their empire seems too perfectly rich, wealthy, clean and advanced compared to the squalor of the Old World... have some dark forebodings thrown in

the Emperor's health is declining (old age, battle wounds, possibly poison?), his sons all plan their own succession to the throne.
Eunuchs (those lovable schemers) have their plans to plant a puppet emperor.
Loyalist generals want to back another son maybe.
Another faction of generals may be plotting with outside forces to seize power when the time is ripe.
Warfare with the hobgoblin khanate in the north, Tibetan-type guys in the west, Vietnam type guys in the south, and Dark Elf/Wo kuo coastal raiders from the east have spread even the Grand Celestial Army thin, even putting a drain on the Richest Empire of the World.
The Astromancers scan the heavens, only finding foreboding. The burning-corpse star (Ragol) burns with a strange... chaotic light.

This is kept secret by the highest ranking officials and generals, but even rumors sweep down amongst the people.

Hmmm.... you could have the dynasty fall, civil war break out

and to reflect the Yellow Turbans and Taiping rebellion, a strange, charismatic individual rises up with the powers of Chaos to lead the disefranchised people, promising to build a New Glorious Kingdom of Heaven, but also systematically destroying all of Cathay's wards against chaos and hunting down those with the power to fight demons.

The hobgoblin khanate take this oppertunity to invade.


Is this the warseer thread?
http://www.warseer.c.......9089&page=2

pure china in gameplay fashion has already been stolen by the skaven

hahah, so Cathay's the cowardly ratmen?

Always thought High Elves were most fitting for a heroic 3 Kingdoms type army.


Hmmm, the 'official warseer' list? Hahah, I remember when they were making that. I contributed a little, but left around when they were making the peasant hordes. I disagreed with that completely, figured I might as well leave as it's their project, and I'd just be cramping their fun by nagging on historics or race or something.

"The aim was to create a list that could satisfy both the history buffs and the anime fans at opposite ends of the spectrum, and in that end we have more or less succeeded, remember, if you don't like it, you don't have to take it..."

hahah, as an anime fan and a history buff...


ah, I'll just make my own shiny list that satisfies.

oh hey, the doodle I did for their Ronin is in the .pdf, cool

Edited by TMPikachu, 03 April 2007 - 02:00 PM.

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#11 FrantzFanon

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 05:09 PM

Hey TMPikachu.

Thanks for the information again. That's a lot of stuff that's never been in my thought process.

In terms of fighting styles, for me, in the way they fight, I can conceptualise the imagery of the Cathay soldier... and from there on, come up with some rules and so forth. On the other hand, by starting with basic rules as 'guidelines' I can imagine how a soldier might appear.

That's why i was wondering how they fought, but I guess it's safe to say that war is always savage.

On the point of Hero: point taken.

It becomes harder to create a Cathay army in my mind, on to paper. I initially saw the Cathay army as a slow moving heavy infantry corp, with a more accurate gunline then the Empire, but not as powerful as the dwarfs.
But this initial idea leaves out a lot of aspects;
Cavalry - heavy and slow? Medium and slow? Fast? ... I don't know what suits best.
Artillery - too many variety, and the Cathay army will become a Dwarf gunline (flame cannon, cannons, organ guns... etc etc just a variety of artillery); that's why I was thinking of 'mobile' light artillery. force the Cathayans to choose between mobility OR firepower.
Monsters - they will fill the niches in the army that the infantry, cavalry, or artillery cannot perform.

The warseer forum I was engaged in was;

http://www.warseer.c...p...2937&page=1

i deleted my opinions after people just started to get on my nerves.

I wanted Cathay's darkside to be about their advantages;
wealth. I wanted them to be not gold hungry like the dwarfs, but obsessed with collecting as much revenues as possible through intensive farming etc. in their homeland. So the peasants are working everyday as hard as possible to serve their Celestial Emperor. However, this often means that the peasants are over working themselves in fervor ... and some people within the society think it's the Emperor and the state's overwhelming authority and power. Hence leading to dissident groups and separatists and various other 'rebellion' groups. But overall the Cathay authority maintain a ruthless unity through their police force. But the majority of peasants are happy to work to the death because they see this as duty to the emperor - and unlike the Empire working peoples, the Cathay populace actually work to the death.

I don't really like that idea, but to me it incorporates various historical tidbit facts found across super empires and misconception of foreign powers.
Most non-Asian people see the work ethics of Asians to be somewhat 'hardcore' or 'fanatical'... I'm still amazed at some of my relatives who work more than 12 hours a day, or how some of my little cousins being 12 or younger, study 18 hours a day... (me, living in NZ = NZ's lay back attitude with Korean beliefs of 'hard' work lol strange combinations). But the interesting thing for me here is that, most non-Asians think that this is simply because they have no choice in the matter, that they are either; working to survive; studying harder to avoid parents' "gaze". When some people, simply work/study harder and longer because to them it's the 'norm'. I mean, I can pull off a 12 hour shift or 4 hours of manual labour easy. And I don't see the point of complaining because ... it's work. So pushing that kind of mentality to the extreme, the Cathay peasantry might simply see their back-breaking slave labour (literally) as work, and nothing more. Whilst the Empire travellers might see the huge farms as being a 'low technological manual labour'. I donno something in the lines like that.

The Police force vs rebels; kinda came from the idea of China's history with its legal system. As far as I know, because China was NOT a theocratic system and it's separate spiritual leadership was never given excess amount of authority and power, it maintained a legal system that can be considered 'pure', or without religious 'bias'. (Of course, this is totally up to debate, but compared to medieval, late medieval and renaissance and 21st century European legal systems, where God and religion is central in the legal systems, China simply doesn't seem as extreme) here you can correct me any time, because again, I don't know a terrible amount of Chinese history.

sj

#12 Mei Houwang

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 05:51 PM

I believe you are right about the Manchu/Qing musketeers.
I like to get inspired by this image when it comes to 'stock' infantry, they remind me of the RON Manchu Musketeers, however here they are Qing soldiers.


Actually, that portrait you gave just proved me wrong, nvm.

#13 TMPikachu

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 09:06 PM

deleted


ah, I would've liked to read what you wrote. It'sjust an internet forum of strangers anyways.
"the way has more than one name, and wise men have more than one method. Knowledge is such that it may suit all countries, so that all creatures may be saved..."

#14 FrantzFanon

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 11:38 PM

ah, I would've liked to read what you wrote. It'sjust an internet forum of strangers anyways.


Here's the transcripts I saved. lol
You'll have to read it from bottom to top... that way it makes sense.


lol *steps onto the soap box*

I do agree with what you're saying about the feel of GW etc. and I do agree that Cathay Army should really represent that.

But, just as I have also vaguely pointed out in the Squads/Varingr thread, I do wish at times, GW veer off slightly more so than they usually would. Just for change, but I know that wishful thinking is not reason enough to stay away from stereotypes.

However one thing you pointed out that struck me as being someone what flawed; it's true the Brets are being stereotyped... but, it's by 'fellow' European views (I won't say Eurocentric, cos I don't like that term too much); where as the Cathay army would APPEAR to be a stereotypical view from the West... of the East (Not the West view of itself). So, with that, I'm going to try my best to stick to my ideas, and simply agree to disagree here. (I kinda don't want to stress myself over this as well lol)

I know that one way to approach in designing an army is from its history, but I think we can also approach this from a different angle...
How about we try to look at the army from the gaming perspective, i.e. rules-wise, how would it perform? What would be it's strengths and weaknesses. (I know that these usually come from the back ground itself, but maybe in an effort to stay away from Empire or Bret - or any other army - cloning itself into Cathay, we can try to be a bit more diverse about the way this army can operate). Some armies we should try to avoid;
  • High Elves and their decent infantry backed up by professional martial artist style swordsmen and elite infantry and heavy cavalry
  • Empire and their slightly-above average infantry, bedecked with firepower
  • Bretonnia - cheap infantry with great elite cavalry units
So aside from that here's my suggestions, and I decided to include all sorts of ideas, that can be considered stereotypical or not, just because well... it stirs up new ideas to come out.

1. Cheap infantry (kinda like the conscripts - trad. well trained, i.e. better than bret peasants or empire militia but not as good as empire swordsmen).
  • Good/Medium armour (to show Cathay 'wealth' but heavy armour is pushing it I think, and should be reserved for heavy infantry);
  • Tridents/Spears with shields (mmm Hero... Jet Li);
  • I also think the Cathay should definately have numbers on their side (unless it's like a Cathay expeditionary force... which would be a completely different story), but I don't know how to appropriately balance this out, I mean, should they have each individual regiment have a minimum requirement of 30 soldiers or should they get some kind of unit bonus per rank (kinda like Skaven do don't they? the more they have, they stick around for the fighting more)
2. Expensive Infantry (Professional Soldiers - more for elite choices or else the Cathay Expeditionary Army or the Wall Defenders - some kind of elite army basically)
  • Heavy armour - basically combination of swordmasters, greatswords, and other heavy infantry units. I can't really think up of anything original for elite infantry army units other than that they are far better in WS and have higher LD values - just to show that they are battlehardened. I thought it would be interesting if a Cathay unit cannot be overrun... like they can be broken in combat, and they will flee, but they can never be destroyed by an overrunning movement... or is that just too weird? (I think it's a bit weird, but my initial idea was that whenever the unit upgraded to have an officer/'Hero' then they will become tactically more attuned... and even though they can fight like die-hards, they know when to give up territory etc. just to show that they may not be as fatalistic as the elves or the greatswords).
  • Weapons wise I thought it would be good if they had simply swords and shields... with very high WS
3. Martial Arts - I think only select few Heroes should have this kind of ability.
  • Peasant heroes and Monkish Heroes. Goes with the Chinese self-stereotyping of the single hero being able to go against the odds kinda thing. And these guys might never join units, and fight like killing machines (hmmm Trollslayers...), but maybe they only have one weapon/magical weapon. Still a bit iffy as how we can represent martial arts... I only see it as being extra WS and Attack values... maybe Initiative... or strength... or maybe even Ldshp... lol... d**** anything can be increased. (Ofcourse, the European military would have it's own way of making someone better in combat through training, and that would do increase just about anything as well)
4. Cavalry - Lancers, swords, shields? Maybe no shields? Barded horses ... maybe a hero wielding the pole weapon Guan dao... (and this was the point where I started having images of the first manga version of the Romances of the Three Kingdoms... great stuff). But Cavalry will most likely be something interesting... either they become a rarity (like the Empire Knightly orders - Inner Circle) or they become a staple unit (like the Brets and their variety of knights), or something in between with individually 'good' soldiers (High Elves), or be something weird but interesting to use (Cold One knights) ...

5. Artillery - hmmmm Cannons... Fire Arrows... Hwa Cha (Korean) ... Catapults... Rockets... choices choices... maybe the Fire Arrows can be portable balista for two men to carry it around the battlefield like a giant crossbow (Hero again, and maybe a little bit of Rise of Nations, the Korean faction - I'm not saying copy it, but there is a definite idea about mobile artillery as well as static gunpowder artillery). but gamewise... what should the Cathay artillery try to do? Again, I was thinking of something in my life... the game of Chinese Chess the artillery piece is used to take out pieces early in the game (at least that's the theory) so, again, I had this idea of Cannons being part of the infantry company rather than being a separate 'artillery' division in terms of fluff, and during the games, Cannons can be deployed behind infantry regiments... and must follow it. (So it can start shooting from the start - through it's parent unit, but it can't everytime the uni moves away too far. kinda like the detachment rule, but with artillery - needs refinement)

6. Monsters - i was flicking through the 'Natural History of the Unnatural World' Book - a cryptozoology book. and disappointingly found only one chinese mythological beast; Ki Lin; apparently a form of a unicorn kinda beast. and glory be in wikipedia, it had more information on chinese beasts of myths... but again, what would these monsters perform in the game role? kinda scratched my head reallll hard about this... and their purpose were
  • shock unit - as infantry, cavalry, artillery form.
  • centrepiece - something like a giant or dragon
  • firepower sponge - something like a giant or a dragon
  • hero mount - something to ride on, like the Empire dragon :)
  • aside from that one interesting thing; the Tiangou a dog or a meteor swallows up the sun during eclipse... so in warhammer-dised fashion, maybe there can be a prophecy where a beast dog swallows up the twin tailed comet - now this may be true or not, but who knows, implications for Cathay to follow the silk road and start stirring up some trouble? lol i donno.
that's it so for, I decided not to delve into heroes so much... so tell me what you think, you don't have to like it. and please share your ideas. let's make this cathay thread all about positive engagements. :)

*steps off the soap box with a forced smile*

lol i kid

sj


+-+-+-+-+


I think people are finally narrowing down the problem ... it's not whether or not it's realistic, or historically accurate... it's the fact that there is a chance that GW might step over an imaginary line, into the Realm of Cultural Insensitivity.

To steer clear away from the R.o.C.I. GW will need to have a balance between reality (that is based on history), it's own fantasy realm, and assure a certain level of respect for the inspirations they have used, after all ideas don't come out of nowhere.

I guess it's hard not to think about Kung-Fu warriors, or the Samurai, or the Indian Elephant Cavalry. But i assure you history offers far more interesting things than just the same old same old, you just have to pick up a book and read about it.

Because if you start using the stereotypes, you ARE literally mimicking a historical army. But if you can be inspired by history, and stay away from stereotypical images, then the Cathay/Ind/Nippon armies will really be distinct from one and other and the rest of the warhammer armies.

I have to say this as well. Because i'm an asian, I did not know a lot about european history in depth, nor did i realize that when my first interaction with Warhammer grew as a hobby, that the various armies were caricatures of historical armies. Perhaps, you, with Western heritage might have known that the Bretonnians were based on FRENCH military history, or that the Empire was an amalgamation of German and Italian Renaissances. Maybe that's why you seem fine about those stereotypes being used, because it's a Western caricaturization of West European history. But do you think it's ENTIRELY fair that a Far eastern history be warped in a West European perspective and then further caricatured into a fantasy army? If GW simply choose what THEY believe to be significant in Far East Asian history, and then caricature it into a fantasy army, that will be an extreme disappointment. GW should include stereotypes so that it can be corrected and justified, if only in the fantasy world, but that would be enough.

sj

p.s. i could be ignorant and naiive (I am only 19) and I must admit that, but this is something i strongly believe that GW should co-operate with various historical sources. hey, don't you think it will be great that GW simply has a serious conversation with a bunch of Chinese Communist Historians? They don't have to accept their views or include them in the game, but it will certainly be worthy insight into how the CCP view their own history. Everything is relevant, what we see, what we don't see, what people tell us, what people don't tell us... all of these little things create the reality - it may not be true, but it is what it is.



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What about the appearance of the soldiers? would they follow specific dynasties... or would it be better if certain aspects are shared throughout the dynastic periods... like Ming military organisation (with kruzkal's point on the 18 weapons becoming standard) and perhaps Qing styled Elite soldiers (I always liked those multi piece ceremonial armour they wear...).

Not to mention the movie Hero set during the Qin period (i think it was) and they had a great sense of "Cathay" - that large army that is based on professional militia (much like the Eldar... and the High Elves); also that movie is great for getting ideas about the crossbow the Cathay could use... larger than normal balistas that are carried by two men, and then ... see the movie, they have an interesting way of firing the beast! (some models of that would be friggin osome)

Tang dynasty (or was it Han) is also seen in the romance movie House of Flying Daggers. I like the secret police uniform. Quite nice for lightly armoured units of skirmishers.

But yeah... i think mix and matching certain aspects work well... in terms of getting inspiration from them.

Osprey book for Late Imperial China had one spectacular image of a swordsman... in cape and blue uniform, that was fantastic... but that's just me rambling. lol

sj

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I don't think comparing histories between any country is worthwhile. People have different reactions and belief behind their history. Just because France is apparently 'okay' with Bretonnians being their fantasy self doesn't necessarily mean that the Cathay army would be welcomed in such light with the Chinese.

But as argued by others, the Chinese that live outside of China itself, may enjoy a little nostalgic traditional 'Chinese/Cathay' Fantasy force.

Having said that, I personally don't think it's a very classy idea just to resort to the most immediate imagery... not only is it distasteful, but as a consequence, it seems like the designers decided not to bother about creating something really worthwhile.

I'll post some of my ideas soon.

sj

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Kruzkal: I think the term 'oriental' is different by region - my bad.

I don't like wikipedia - so the comment on the dragon can be written by anyone, a nationalist, a historian, a penguin... sure it may be the sign of the Emperor, but it is the modern view of the past that says that the Emperor was bad and monarchistic (why is that a bad thing in the first place? by context, if you wanna play it that way, Imperialism was a good thing in China back in those days) Now it is seen as "monarchistic" to which the CCP would have to claim that it is a bad image because it is a communist party (put simply, communists are a one party system, so every other system other than communism = bad)

but thanks for bringing that up Indraunt.

Rathgar I totally agree with you; it needs to be 90% Fantasy and 10% 'reality'. But that 10% is what reminds people of the historical context. Like I said before, it is entirely possible to create a Cathay army without using a dragon as a mount, or a jade dog as fast cavalry units. Because, if you create an army with historical relevance that ISN'T common knowledge, then it makes the army much more interesting (and gives it more room to expand later on)

For example, i did not even know that the Empire was based on the renaissance until I kept on reading into the fluff and realizing how relevant it was to history. Sure, they dress a lot like the renaissance - but i only realized that after i learned the history. because as an asian, the renaissance was not something that was particularly important for me to learn about. Did I know that the chaos cultists were based on germanic paganistic rituals? No i didn't. I didn't even know what the germanic tribes were, until i was old enough to read more advanced books that had information.

That comes to bring me to my next point. Age of the gamers.
I do not like the idea of young gamers simply believing that every asian army will be gun powder orientated, large infantry, fantatic soldiers, dragons and martial arts. i want them to know that martial arts was something NOT pracitised in the asian military. it was outlawed. why would they include it? I want them to know that the japanese feudal lords were not the 'kool' soldiers with flashy swords capable of killing anyone, and that they lived by 'bushido'. Just as the bretonian knights were turned 'bad' with a new grim look, i want the asian armies to appear to be less of what they are in reality. and pushed AWAY from their stereotypical images.

i think that's by far the most important thing, pushing AWAY from stereotypical images. look at all the great armies that GW have produced that are unique because they did just that!

Bretonnia - they are the 'not so typical Knights in Shining armour', with their elitist society, the larger population of peasants are living in dearth. just like the real medieval peasants. - often viewed to live the simple romantic life... ha.

Empire - innovative and historically (loosely) based around the italian renaissance states. as well as visually mimicking the Holy Roman Empire. But they also have a negative side. Internal politics that lead to civil war and instability.

Wood Elves and their amalgamation of pre-state cultures and of course, the distinct affiliation to the native americans. But they are also reflecting that historical attitude - but more violently; that no one should come into their territory.

High elves; i've heard bits and pieces over the years since release of 6th edition high elves book, but they were apparently very close with China. the scalemail armour and the ornate weapons, and the swordmasters. they are distinct in their own way, almost alien looking and their interests in others are almost always for their own ends right? betrays that 'good and noble' image they portray.

I don't wanna write down all the armies here and say how they are so interesting in their own way because they are so non-stereotypical.

but that's all i wanted to say for now. cathay needs to be developed away from the stereotypical images of 'the orient' or atleast away from the images that have always been used - whether positively or negatively.

sj


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Kruzkal, that comment about 'orientals' better have been a one off thing. it's by far one of the most degrading terms that i've been called in my life time in living in a European country.

Also, although there are GW stores in Hong Kong and Japan, they are very different compared to China and Korea. Hong Kong is obviously close with European countries (especially England, Australia, and NZ) since it was part of the commonwealth colonies, and it became part of Chinese territory in 1997. They do have a certain resentment about the government change, and as a result they are very different. (for example, most will not say that they are from China, but will say that they are from Hong Kong).

Similar story with Japan, it managed to separate itself from mainland asia - geographically it couldn't help it self - but it also preferred to stay away from the mainland, only coming over to pillage and attempt to create a mainland territory. Also, they were able to 'westernize' far quicker than any other asian country (excluding British India). This was seen as - at the worst - a betrayal against the rest of the asian continent (but it was kinda expected). Do we find it honourable? No we don't. Do we think it shouldn't have happened? We don't think about that, if it happened, it happened.

And as Indraunt have pointed out, the armies will be based largely on folklore. But so far, the ideas that have been presented have been on things that are not part of asian folklore, or they are used in an offensive way.

Take the Dragon for example, it is a powerful creature, but we rarely see it as being a violent one. It symbolizes power, and creation of the universe. Not, war, not killing, or invasion. It is in essence our God, but that is a Abrahamic thing, something we don't have a concept of.

And Minister, although it is easy to think that because we are a modern society, we don't have the same social beliefs that are being characterized in Warhammer. In asia, we are still mostly Confucist/Taoist/Buddhist and we have been doing so for a very very long time. There are changes in our history, it's just slow - which is not seen as a bad thing in the east.

Sucide Messiah, i agree that GW would have people at hand to come and help them out, but they will not be Chinese officials (i.e. from China, sent by the state), they will be people who have studied Asian history, and my lecturer (Oxford, Auckland and now going back to OXford) have said that there are more European people teaching Asians about Asian history. That's not 'our' history, that's just the European interpretation of our history.

in the end, Asian market is a huge gamble, unless GW is willing to make a huge investment. Also, I think it would be far more honourable for GW to take the good sportsmanship route and take time with the Eastern project. Think HARD about what is necessary and what isn't. Talk to some CHINESE historians that are actually from China - they are not 'brainwashed' as so many people think they are. Again, I am an optimist when it comes to creative work; i think it's entirely possible for GW to create a great Cathay, Ind, and Nippon army without screwing up, and with enough room to expand their history after the first release. if they take time with it.

sj



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long story short, it looks like a european company is taking the 'piss' at asia if they use the wrong imagery, or something that is 'stereotypical', or even worse, nothing to do with asian culture.

sj

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One small comment from me; GW needs to tread carefully trying to create an asian army.

sojung


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#15 TMPikachu

TMPikachu

    Emperor (Huangdi 皇帝)

  • CHF Grand Historian Award
  • 2,545 posts

Posted 04 April 2007 - 12:39 AM

Thanks, btw I started posting on Warseer, easy to see who I am.


Just.. KEEP A GOOD ATTITUDE! BE HAPPY! YEAH!

WHO CARES really, be cool, be cool. That's the way to be. I am an internet warrior, yeah, battled many trolls, went through many fires. Just be cool, be detached.
Respond to Flames with NONSENSE. Deflect it, be like water, be like wind, like wood, like earth, like fire, just be.

Somebody goes "peasant horde yeah!" go 'oh ho ho', take pity for their ignorance, laugh at their ignorance, but DonT Get Angry.


Because you know what, you're sitting down, staring at a glowing screen. There is nothing in that room to anger you, there is nothing there but you.
Think about... think about how sill you'd look, just sitting there, looking at a screen, then getting angry! ITs ridiculous!


Maybe I will draw some cool pictures later!
"the way has more than one name, and wise men have more than one method. Knowledge is such that it may suit all countries, so that all creatures may be saved..."




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